Many said the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t win a title without Avery Bradley after he decided to opt-out of the NBA bubble. While losing him was a big blow, nobody saw Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso stepping up in the way that they did. The team lost a total of five games throughout the entirety of the playoffs while being one of the only teams to have a healthy starter opt-out.
It was certainly disappointing that Bradley decided to not play but he was a key player for the team all season before the shutdown. He was very much a key component to the Lakers winning a title even though he didn’t play. He had a chance to share his reaction to the championship.
“Everyone was going crazy,” Bradley said, via ESPN. “Everyone was excited. My wife was excited. I think it is something that is hard, obviously, not being there. But I think from the beginning I’ve been able to be at peace.
“He [Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka] was just letting me know I am a part of it. It has been a long season — and an amazing one. And we’ve been through a lot. It was just an amazing win. You could see it on his face.”
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Bradley Says He’s ‘Still a Laker’
Though Bradley wasn’t there for the playoff run, he still remained involved with the team.
“I watched every single game,” Bradley said. “I am still a Laker.”
Despite opting out, the Lakers are still planning on giving Bradley a ring and he does deserve it. Had he been injured and didn’t play, it wouldn’t even be a question of whether or not he should get a ring. Bradly has a player option heading into free agency and would be wise to pick it up. He’s still one of the Lakers’ better guard options and is a great defender. Los Angeles is going to have a target on their back this season and they’ll need to make sure that they’re even better than they were this year.
Bradley Says Winning the Title Is an Amazing Feeling
Throughout his 12 year career, Bradley had not won a championship to this point. He’s played with some good teams but never made it this far. Even though he wasn’t in Orlando to celebrate with his teammates, he was still hyped about the win.
“You play your whole career working for a championship,” Bradley said, “and knowing that I was this close and a part of something, even though I wasn’t there, is still an amazing feeling.”
Should the Lakers and Bradley decide to reunite for the upcoming season, he’ll get another really good shot at winning a ring. This season proved that LeBron James isn’t even close to slowing down. As long as he keeps playing at a high level and Anthony Davis returns, the Lakers are going to be among the best teams in the NBA. Bradley could get a chance to actually play in the Finals next year.