Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton says that his team have developed a reputation for being "soft" after slipping to the second-worst record in the NBA.
The Lakers went down 122-111 to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, taking their record to 19-45. Only the Brooklyn Nets' (11-51) is worse.
Byron Scott also accused the Lakers of being soft in 2015, with Walton's latest lament laying bare his frustration at the team's malaise.
"We still haven't truly figured out how to make teams uncomfortable," Walton said. "I think teams feel like when they play us right now, that we're kind of a soft team, that they can come in and get their offensive numbers against us.
"It's got to be up to us to change that and the only way to do that, is to do it out there on the court. I think we're taking steps in that direction. I think our guys want to get there and I think they are learning how to get there, we're just not there yet."
Julius Randle, who had a triple-double in Tuesday's game, was not so ready to give his team-mates the soft label, although he admits they need to get better.
HIGHLIGHTS: Julius Randle fills the stat sheet against Dallas and tallies his third triple-double of the season. pic.twitter.com/cmLPlPfVq6
-- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 8, 2017
"It p***** me off, cause we're not soft," Randle is quoted by Lakers Nation. "But we're not the aggressor. When we're the aggressive team, we give ourselves a chance to win and the soft stuff is out the window. When we're not the aggressor, then teams have confidence, players have confidence."
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had little sympathy for the Lakers, and he hopes the recent appointments of Magic Johnson as team president and Rob Pelinka as general manager backfire on LA.
"I hope they fail miserably. I hope they fail horrifically," Cuban said, via the L.A. Daily News. "I hope Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka go down as the worst GM-president combination in the history of GM-president combinations. But I hope they live wonderful lives."