You might think the Lakers’ success is no secret. They pay a lot of very good players a lot of money to play for their team, then they have that team coached by the most successful coach in NBA history, who also happens to be very expensive. Simply put, the Lakers spend a lot to be one of the best teams in the league, then work together to be even better. Ain’t no big surprise.

However, when you think about it, lots of teams spend lots of money on their players and coach, so that can’t be the only reason. There has got to be something else that. But what could it be? Maybe we’ll never know.

Or, maybe, Taj Gibson has the answer. From the Chicago Tribune:

”The one thing I learned last year: You can’t focus on coming out here and just relaxing,” Gibson said after practice Sunday at the Staples Center. ”That’s how the Lakers really get you. You come out here, you get lackadaisical, and you get in the scene and the nice things. You have to really lock in.

”We had a rough practice; it was good for us. It’s all about business. L.A.’s great, but you have to really focus because it’s a good team.”

There you go. The Lakers lure teams in to a false sense of relaxitude — new word, Weezer made it up, probably — and then stomp their throats with player specific shoes. Pretty ingenious plan, really, and one that’s worked for Phil Jackson since the Jordan days.

But really, it probably is strange playing in Los Angeles, especially if you’re from a cold weather city. Chicago, right now, is 66 degrees and cloudy and, for November, that’s a nice day. I’m sure traveling to L.A., enjoying the weather and beautiful beaches, seeing some celebrities and then having to play one of the league’s toughest opponents is quite the task.

I mean, I know when I’m in Los Angeles, the last thing I’m thinking about is work. True, I’ve never been to Los Angeles for work, but I do listen to a lot of Dr. Dre. That guy’s always busy with parties or rollin’ in his ’64 Impala. Rarely does he rap about being focused on running errands.