All hail the Lakers!
If you’re flipping a coin over which NBA team to support when play resumes on July 31 this year, think again. There are five cracking reasons to give the purple and gold your loudest cheer. Read on for a few of the finer details on league leaders, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Reason number one: They really have no excuse not to win
A glance at the scoreboard and you’ll be wondering what could stand in the Laker’s way of reaching the NBA finals? ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins outs it like this: “Well, I know they lost a key player in Avery Bradley, and he was playing at a high level and playing extremely well for the Lakers but, guess what: They still have two guys over there – the best duo in the league.
The best duo since Kobe and Shaq [Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal], in King James and Anthony Davis! And what else about them? They have the most championship experience in the NBA. So they’ll be fine chemistry-wise. But when I look at the Los Angeles Lakers, the only thing that could stop them is hell, [what if] maybe one guy, maybe a key guy, catches the Coronavirus; or they lose a guy to an injury.
But other than that the Lakers have no excuse. They have all the pieces that they need. They have a dynamic duo in LeBron James and Anthony Davis and some nice raw pieces.” Well, there you have it in a nutshell.
Reason number two: There will be a crowd-noise advantage
Shams Charania, from The Athletic, wrote on June 5 that the NBA may play crowd-noise audio from the much-watched NBA 2K video game. This will help, in the Covid-19 period, to make play lively and should also assist the Lakers to feel right at home among their fans and followers.
The NBA is planning to restart its season on July 31 at the Walt Disney World resort just outside of Orlando, Florida, while formerly the Lakers always played on home court against second-seed rival, the Los Angeles Clippers. So although that psychological home-court advantage won’t be present in the mix, the crowd noise is likely to be heavily weighted in their favor. Either way, be sure to show them your love by placing a bet on them with Borgata.
Reason number three: They have the best record in the Western Conference
A word from those in the know, but who are unfortunately not permitted to speak publicly, is that the Lakers have been taking James’ motivational chats to heart and are, in fact, in excellent shape to resume play at Walt Disney World. Another factor in their favor, over and above the 5.5-game lead they have over the Clippers, is the fact that due to scheduling they may only have to play six instead of eight games to conclude their season.
The NBA has revealed that they would use winning percentages and standard procedures for any potential tiebreakers – surely a win-win for the Lakers. Their record pitted alongside the high level of play they exhibited pre-suspension, can only spur them forward.
Reason number four: Michael Jordan’s legacy underpins them
Securing the Larry O’ Brien trophy this season would give the Lakers the opportunity to size up to their long-time nemesis, the Boston Celtics, with an equal score of 17. And it would bring legend LeBron James one step closer to the six-ring legacy of Michael Jordan. Plus, imagine the thrill of moving into the next season with a winning mindset.
Of note, is the fact that James has been in constant comms with his fellow teammates over the trying layoff period, reports Los Angeles Times reporter Broderick Turner. Although they’re in great shape for the return of the season, James has been determined to get up to competitive speed post-haste, as well as spurring on their mental preparedness, once their championship journey is allowed to resume.
Nicknamed King James, this athlete says he is set on winning his fourth title. And don’t forget that teammate and Lakers forward Anthony Davis, since entering the league in 2012, has the most 20-point, 10-rebound games of any player in the NBA. Can you feel all that testosterone waiting for bank shot?
Reason number five: They’d be honoring the memory of Kobe Bryant
Choosing to support the Lakers is a heartfelt nod towards the late great Kobe Bryant, who was killed on 26 January 2020, alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, while traveling by helicopter to a basketball game at his Mamba Sports Academy.
Apparently, pilot Ara Zobayan lost control at a high altitude above Calabasas, near Los Angeles, causing the helicopter to come crashing down at a speed of 184mph while descending at more than 4 000ft per minute. Bryant led the Lakers to five championships between 2000 and 2010, and goes down in history as the team’s all-time leading scorer; he was also the first shooting guard to play at least 20 seasons.
Made your decision yet? How frustrating for the Lakers to have been on their way to their best season ever right before Covid-19 stepped in. Here’s to an ecstatic return for this vibrant and popular team.