Already the biggest franchise in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers only got bigger over the NBA offseason with some big free agency acquisitions to add to their exciting young core.
Here are the big reasons why you can’t miss Lakers in 2018/19.
LeBron James in Purple and Gold
After achieving all he could in Cleveland, LeBron’s next move was the biggest talking point of the NBA offseason. However, the 33-year-old did not waste any time, signing with the Lakers less than a month after James’ Cavaliers were beaten in the Finals. The move fast tracks the Lakers’ rebuild and gives them a genuine opportunity to contend for this year’s NBA championship. LBJ has been involved in every NBA finals series since 2010/11 and Laker fans will be hoping that streak continues this year.
New Uniforms For the First Time since ’99
When Magic Johnson was running the point throughout the 80s, the ‘Showtime’ Lakers won five titles playing a run-and-gun style game that was as entertaining as it was effective. Now with Magic running things as the Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations, Showtime is back … in a way. The Lakers have moved in a new direction with their uniforms, throwing it back to the 80s era with Showtime-inspired jerseys. The new uniforms not only reflect the Lakers’ storied history but have incorporate new design features to represent a new era in LA. With only a few base colours to work with and no mascot to feature on their jerseys, when a team like the Lakers, Celtics or Bulls makes a uniform change, it is a big deal.
With all the hype surrounding the Lakers’ acquisition of LeBron James, it is quickly forgotten how close the young group was to taking the LakeShow to the playoffs last season. On the back of incredible first seasons from Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, the Lakers remained in the playoff picture for most of the season.
First off the lakers almost made the playoffs without Lebron. Now they have and are predicted to miss again even with their players improving. The disrespect
— MardyBum (@ChandlerGamboa) August 9, 2018
Now with LeBron, the team is expected to do great things but that didn’t stop the front office from continuing to develop the Lakers’ young core in the offseason. Draftees Mo Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk impressed in the NBA Summer League, while Isaac Bonga is brimming with potential. Also, did I mention that future all-star Brandon Ingram is only 21? While watching LeBron in purple and gold will be exciting, seeing how these young stars will grow as a unit is just as exciting.
If things weren’t hectic enough last year with Lakers duo Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma dominating headlines in the NBA’s social landscape, things will only heat up with some of the Lakers’ newest signings. Bringing back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a smart move from a basketball sense but his off-court indiscretions are questionable. The same can be said about Michael Beasley, who is always making headlines for behavioural reasons. Laker fans will have to adjust to former Celtic Rajon Rondo wearing purple and gold after years of being one of the team’s biggest villains. The same can be said about LeBron’s biggest foe, Lance Stephenson, joining the crew to share a locker room with the man he has had numerous tussles with.
Whether or not these role players can come together as a unit is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure, there will never be a dull moment in the Staples Center.
The NBA Season kicks off on October 16.