Peter Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Lakers are always focused on winning a championship, but every team in the NBA goes through tough times. The Lakers entered a rebuilding phase after Dwight Howard left Los Angeles in 2013 and Kobe Bryant was recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.
After years of hard times and multiple lottery picks, the Purple and Gold have found a light at the end of the tunnel. LeBron James became a free agent in 2018 and eventually signed with the Lakers, getting the team back to winning ways.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka teamed up with Anthony Davis and James and won a championship in his first season in 2020. With the roster constantly tweaked and the Russell Westbrook experiment failing, the Lakers enter the 2023-24 season with renewed hope and championship aspirations.
James is about to enter his 21st season, the championship window is about to close, and fans hope that the combination of James and Davis can get at least one more championship ring. Austin Reaves enters his third season with the team and hopes to be a part of the Lakers’ 18th championship, per Mirin Fader of The Ringer:
When asked about his goals for Year 3, Reeves talked about team goals. “Twenty years from now, if I’m lucky enough to have kids, I might be winning a championship with LeBron James. … That’s all I really care about right now.”
First-round picks were rare during James’ tenure, and Joey and Jesse Buss had to find some gems in the second round or undrafted drafts. One of them is Reeves, who initially went undrafted but became an integral part of the Lakers in just two seasons.
Last season, the guard averaged 13 points, 3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 52.9% from the field and 39.8% from three-point range. Reeves became a restricted free agent this summer and signed a new four-year, $54 million contract with the team.this
James considered retiring after being eliminated in the Western Conference Finals, which sounded a wake-up call to fans and teams. This suggests he has fewer seasons in the league, so Pelinka is motivated to add more firepower to the lineup. The Lakers’ new lineup appears to be the most balanced lineup James has ever had, and the one that will win another championship.
James ranks No. 9 on ESPN’s annual NBARank list
Despite being 38 years old, James is clearly still capable of playing at a high level. ESPN announced the latest player rankings, and the four-time champion is ranked No. 9 in the 2023-24 season.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage of events, attend live shows, and more!