One defining characteristic about the Los Angeles Lakers during their run to a championship was how every player bought in to what Frank Vogel and co. wanted to do. As a result, L.A. was able to win the 17th championship in franchise history and seemed to have a blast doing it, with the team having a bench that celebrated like a 15-seed in the midst of a gigantic March Madness upset.
As Vogel explained during a recent appearance on The Lowe Post, his hyper-expressive bench did cause him some headaches. As a result, he had to turn to an unlikely source of inspiration to get his guys to calm down a bit: Old School.
“During the Finals we used that, which is, you don’t really think you’re gonna be using levity in your film sessions during the Finals, but,” Vogel said when ESPN’s Zach Lowe relayed that he heard the movie played a role in the team’s Bubble stint. “Everybody thinks the best scene in Old School is either the Frank the Tank scene or the streaking scene, but they’re wrong. The best scene in that movie is the dart scene.”
A quick interjection here: If you have not seen Old School in a while (or if you have, I suppose), here is the dart scene. If you haven’t seen Old School period, uh, I’d apologize for the spoiler but the movie has been out for nearly 18 years so it technically doesn’t count as a spoiler, and also, you should see Old School.
“Our bench was so nuts throughout the whole playoff run — like, the celebrations, the jumping out on the court, doing the goggles,” Vogel said. “The refs, every game, telling me, like, ‘These guys got to get back on the bench, this is out of control.’ So there was a little dust up and I wanted to sell the message that you could get suspended. If there’s an altercation, you guys are out there. You guys are crazy, I like that, but let’s make sure you guys are back. So that’s the scene that came to my mind, when Will Ferrell’s got a dart and his neck, and he’s looking at who goes, ‘Man, I like you, you’re crazy.’ So I said, ‘This is my message to you guys: I love the energy, I love you guys, but you’re crazy and you need to kinda get it under control.'”
As an added bonus, Vogel described the scene as having “Stifler from American Pie” in it. Anyway, this ended up working, and as a result, the Lakers won without any players getting in too much trouble for having way too much fun on the bench.