Who says resumption of the NBA season says need for motivation. And who says need for motivation says…? Find good reasons! For each team of the 2022-23 season, we wanted to be useful, helpful, and a little funny if the subject allows it. Here are the 10 good reasons to follow the Los Angeles Lakers over the next few months, between glitter and drama, as always.
#1: LeBron James in the footsteps of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Second in the ranking of the best all-time scorers, LeBron James only needs 1325 points to equal Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Barring disaster, he will therefore once again enter the history books of the League by overtaking the mythical pivot of the Lakers. The big question will be, above all, when this will happen. If he avoids sores and keeps his current pace, 40 to 50 games max will be needed to ascend to the throne of scorers. Basically, put in a coin between mid-January and the All-Star Game to see the King add a new crown to his collection.
#2: The use of the two Draft picks 2027 and 2029
In the hard financially, the Lakers have not been great leaders in the offseason, limiting themselves to a small trade (Beverley against Horton-Tucker), minimum contracts or the mid-level exception. To nab reinforcements, LA is limited in its options and the most logical solution would be to send Russell Westbrook elsewhere against role players who would fill in the gaps in the workforce (outside defense, effectiveness from afar). Yes, but no one wants Brodie, his salary especially, or at least everyone demands picks attached to Russ to consider a deal. We’re talking about their 2027 and 2029 draft picks in particular and LA can’t afford to throw them away without thinking because the franchise doesn’t really have any left in stock. Will the management sacrifice them this season to give themselves more luck now or rather next season? It is rumored that Kyrie Irving could arrive in LA next July and these picks could also be useful to offer reinforcement to the newly created Big 3. Be careful to use your Rob Pelinka assets well.
#3: Drama between Westbrook and Beverley
As soon as Pat Beverley’s trade fell, the first instinct we had was to think that the atmosphere in LA might be nice in training (no). Westbrook and Beverley have had a lot of trouble with each other over the last decade and seeing them in the same jersey now seems pretty funny. The two players have already explained that they were happy to play with each other but we know that the language of wood is legion in pre-season and it will be interesting to see how relations evolve if the sporting results are not not up to par. Drama in Los Angeles, nothing really new under the California sun.
#4: The beginnings of Darvin Ham
Named this summer to replace Frank Vogel, Darvin Ham has finally been offered a chance as number one in a franchise. A long-time loyal assistant to Mike Budenholzer (in Atlanta and Milwaukee), the new Lakers coach took off this summer and is beginning his first term with a team under pressure that has a great need for results to make people forget a last one. catastrophic exercise. As a former player (and champion), Ham has a background that will no doubt please his players, but the transition between the role of assistant and that of head coach is far from easy and many do. the wings are burned. We are not in a quiet reconstruction in Utah there, it is LA and the Lakers. There will be pressure, the critics can quickly fall if things go wrong on the ground. It will take strong shoulders to lead the purple and gold ship to port.
# 5: Anthony Davis who finds his bonus
Impressive (and champion) for his first season at the Lakers, Anthony Davis has been going downhill for a few months. The interior chained the physical glitches and its performances on the ground were clearly a tone below last year. This summer, AD decided to cut a big blow with basketball to come back with the batteries charged and ready to get out of the heavy. This is good because the Lakers absolutely need him to hope to overcome the enormous competition that has built up in the West of the country. As always for the past two years, we will hope that AD can really take on a new dimension that will make it more LA’s option A’ rather than option B. MVP, DPOY, Davis has the talent to aim for all the best rewards but the body still has to go the distance. We hope for this year.
#6: Austin Reaves the new darling?
As always in the NBA, the fanbases choose a new darling in the workforce. Talent, combativeness or simple style, the reasons to appreciate a player are legion and we would bet a coin on the fact that Austin Reaves will be that of the Lakers supporters. Undrafted, out of nowhere, he managed to make his mark in the starred Angelinos squad, even setting an NBA record. No undrafted rookie had ever slammed a triple-double in 10/30/10. It is now done. A good dose of desire, great qualities with the ball in hand, defensive efforts, a career that stands out a bit, we hold Alex Caruso’s successor in the hearts of Purple and Gold fans.
#7: Kendrick Nunn will play basketball again
Signed in the summer of 2021 after two great seasons at the Heat, Kendrick Nunn had all the good picks for the Lakers. Talented, skillful from afar, able to create his own shoot and only at 5 million a season? Rob Pelinka hat. Only here, we still haven’t seen Nunn in a Lakers jersey to date, except to pose at Media Day. The guard has accumulated injuries, in particular to the knee, to the point of missing an entire season. Good or bad news for LA, the player had a player option in his contract and he therefore chose to return for a year to prove that the Lakers had made the right choice by betting on him. His contribution to scoring and his ability to shoot from afar (38% in his last season in Miami) can do a lot of good for the Angelinos attack, it remains to be seen if the player has really put his sores in the back.
#8: The use of the Schröder-Beverley-Russ trio
Three leaders, one place. This is how we could sum up the equation that Darvin Ham must solve at the moment. The new tactician has seen two potential holders land in a sector that was not really empty and Brodie’s non-departure now forces him to find a way to tinker to take advantage of each other’s strengths and pull the golden collective upwards. How to do ? Perhaps trying some two-point guard combinations, with a Beverley easily able to play off the ball (almost 38% career wide). A transfer from Westbrook still seems the most viable option to put some order in the hierarchy and in relation to everyone’s role, but when will it happen? That’s a mystery.
#9: Stu Lantz freaking out on the mic
If you like to listen to Lakers games with local commentators, you have to tell yourself that the voices rarely change. Normal, Stu Lantz has been at the microphone for 35 years now! A former Lakers player who moved to the other side of the table, Stu began his commentating career with the legendary Chick Hearn. Difficult to find a better mentor to get started and Lantz will love this new life as a commentator. The end of Showtime, the Shaq-Kobe then Kobe-Gasol years, the retirement of the Mamba then the revival with LBJ, he experienced, all with as much fervor as ever. The franchise also celebrated its longevity a few months ago with the Stu Lantz Night.
#10: Simply LeBron James
30 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists average at 37 years old. No doubt, LeBron James is more than ever a cyborg and the years have no effect on him. Once again, and despite sores that disrupted his start to the season, the King recalled that he was capable of smearing all the defenses of the League despite an ever-increasing mileage on the clock. Since 2003, the King has been sharing his talent with us and we tend to take him for granted since he is now entering his… 20th season in the League. Two, three, four, five years, who knows how long LBJ will still be on the court, but let’s enjoy every moment. It’s not tomorrow the day before that we will see a specimen like the native of Akron.