If one pop song exemplified the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason movement, it would likely be Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “Upgrade U.”
For those tardy to the party: Here’s a refresher.
This summer many teams called shots and the Lakers called audibles.
Six Lakers players returned from last season’s roster: LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso.
The Lakers also got vets: Lakers newcomers include Anthony Davis, the now injured DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels and rookie Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Lakers also have a new head coach in Frank Vogel. NBA Hall of Famer Jason Kidd headlines a list of assistant coaches in Frank Vogel’s stable.
How will the Lakers fare this season?
We’ve got Dwyane Wade on line 2. Flash, how do the Lakers look this season?
“The talent and the roster is great top to bottom,” Wade, a three-time NBA Champion, told me.
“It’s just going to take some time to get it together and get the continuity together.”
The Lakers began their rollout last offseason when they signed LeBron James.
Things didn’t go as planned.
James injured his groin on Christmas Day and returned to the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup at the end of January after a very strenuous rehab process.
The Lakers ended up missing the NBA Playoffs this past spring. This summer has been about preparation. “I like being uncomfortable in the offseason,” LeBron James told The Athletic’s Joe Vardon.
“I like being counted out. It motivates me.”
Anthony Davis told me he’s focused on competing for an NBA Championship.
What’s the plan?
“Do whatever I can to help this team win a championship,” he said.
“That’s the main goal. That’s our goal and we are going to come in with the mindset that we’re all thinking. This is the year.”
Once upon a time, Wade was the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft coming out of Marquette.
The speedy rookie guard got the world’s attention in game one of the Heat’s first round playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets in 2004.
With 1.3 seconds remaining and tied at 79 apiece, Wade hit Hornets point guard Baron Davis with an ankle breaker crossover and drove to the basket making a running jumper amid the outstretched arm of Hornets center Jamaal Magloire. The basket gave the Heat a 81-79 victory and Miami would end up winning the series in seven games.
Wade trended recently when his recent comments about hoops raised eyebrows. Some believed that he could be making a comeback. Some prognosticated that the Los Angeles Lakers would be the team he’d join so that he and his best friend, LeBron James could be teammates for a third time.
Wade has since shot down those reports.
Now a Los Angeles resident, the Chicago native says he likes what he sees on the Lakers’ roster with the Los Angeles Lakers beginning training camp later this month. “If they get it together obviously they’re going to be a very good team,” he told me.
“LeBron, Rondo and those guys, their veteran leadership is going to try and get that continuity together early on and try to get it together and going fast.”