Lakers Singing the Redemption Song!
From superstars to role players, the Los Angeles Lakers are desperately searching for respect and redemption as individuals and as a team
It’s been nine years since they won a championship and three years since LeBron won a ring but the Los Angeles Lakers have assembled a roster of veterans looking for redemption who are one of the favorites to win it all.
Whether it’s an aging LeBron returning from injury, an unproven AD finally playing on an elite team, a declining Bradley chasing his Celtics ghosts, or a ridiculed Dwight getting his last chance, the Lakers are a redemption song. Every player on their entire roster has something to prove whether they’re a current superstar like James or Davis, former star like Howard or Bradley, veteran like Rondo or Caldwell-Pope, or young gun like Kuzma or Caruso.
It’s hard to remember a team favored to contend for an NBA championship where every single player on the roster was searching to find redemption instead of coming off a strong previous season but that’s this year’s Lakers. And while the roster has depth in areas like shooting, it also lacks a quality starting point guard and an elite defensive wing and is overly dependent on LeBron James staying healthy and enjoying a strong bounce back year.
The redemption theme also extends to the Lakers’ front office and coaching staffs as general manager Rob Pelinka takes over from former PBO Magic Johnson and head coach Frank Vogel replaces former coach Luke Walton. After missing the playoffs for the six years in a row, the pressure on Pelinka and Vogel to win this season will be unbelievable, not even counting the ticking clocks on LeBron’s expiring contract and AD’s looming free agency.
What it all adds up to is a Lakers team that must rely upon redemption to have any chance to win a championship. James and Davis must have MVP seasons. Bradley and Green must rediscover their All-NBA defensive mojos. Howard and McGee must stop their Shaqtin’ A Fool acts. Vets like Rondo, Cook, Caldwell-Pope, Dudley, and Daniels must have career years. Kids like Kuzma, Caruso, and Horton-Tucker must take their games to the next level.
In a league suddenly wide open with as many as eight teams capable of competing for the championship, it’s going to take a team with career years from a deep and talent roster plus good fortune and health to win it all. The odds of that happening may seem remote but that’s the challenge the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves facing as they enter a season many believe will portend both the short term and long term future of the franchise.
On the plus side, LeBron James has never played with a big man as talented and skilled as Anthony Davis and should be motivated to prove to all his doubters and naysayers that he’s still the best player on the planet. After going all in by trading for AD this summer, the Lakers are facing a must win season with just two more guaranteed years left on LeBron’s contract and their long term future hanging entirely on re-signing Davis next summer.
The key to the Lakers as a franchise redeeming themselves and insuring that Anthony Davis stays is going to be a combination of smart load management and good fortune when it comes to avoiding major injuries to key players. If LeBron James and Anthony Davis can remain healthy and play to their potential, the Lakers should be one of the top contenders to win the NBA championship and regain their standing as an elite franchise.
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