What’s opening night of the NBA season without a little extra drama?
The 2023-24 NBA season kicks off, and the Lakers will challenge the Nuggets on the road in a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference Finals. Although the series was fiercely competitive, the Denver Nuggets did not put in too much sweat and swept their opponents 4-0, continuing their winning streak and eventually winning the first championship in team history.
The spoils go to the victor, and the Nuggets certainly celebrated their historic title in a memorable celebration that included plenty of banter about their conference finals opponents. Apparently, the Lakers have taken notice, with both Anthony Davis and Austin Reeves speaking out at noon.
What did the Nuggets say to upset the Lakers? Here’s a look at some of what’s coming out of training camp in Denver this summer.
More: Sporting News ranks the top 30 players in the NBA
What did the Nuggets say to the Lakers?
Much of the trash talk came from Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. Throughout Denver’s championship celebrations, Malone took some not-so-subtle digs at Los Angeles.
After winning the championship, Malone appeared on the Pat McAfee Show, apparently capitalizing on LeBron James’ comments about considering retirement and thrust into the spotlight during the Nuggets’ Western Conference Finals victory.
“Speaking of the Lakers, I just wanted to let you guys know, this is big news – I’m thinking about retiring, so don’t tell anyone,” Malone joked while “having a lot of fun with my new friends.”
“I’m thinking about retiring”😂😂😂
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) June 14, 2023
James, who spent five seasons with Malone in Cleveland, apparently reacted to the joke on Instagram, responding with his caption: “Been busy with my stuff in Europe the past few weeks and I heard I was in Do you mind that much?…Enjoy your light, but know that I am the sun. I am always here!”
At the Nuggets championship parade, Malone was introduced as “the dad of the Lakers,” a sarcastic comment that drew loud cheers from Denver fans in attendance.
Members of the Lakers team also seemed unimpressed.
“(The end of last season) was very encouraging,” Davis said at Lakers media day. “Obviously, (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) is my guy, so you kind of congratulate him, but … it’s just a lot of conversation, like, ‘Okay, we get it. You guys They all win.’
“I think, LeBron and I had some conversations like, ‘We can’t wait.'” … Anytime you lose, there’s motivation to get ready for next season and try to compete for a championship, and that’s motivation in itself, But all the chatter that’s been going around all summer – we’re ready. “
So, in short, Davis, James and even Austin Reeves were clearly unhappy with Malone’s victory lap last year. The two teams will meet three times in the upcoming season, and this new chapter in the rivalry means you won’t want to miss a game.