Everybody knew the Los Angeles Lakers would be good last season but there weren’t a ton of people who expected them to win a championship. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix infamously said that the team would be more likely to miss the playoffs than win the championship prior to the start of last season. The Lakers proved a lot of people wong and cruised to the franchise’s 17th championship.
Heading into this upcoming season, nobody is underestimating Los Angeles and they are widely considered the favorites to win it all again. LeBron James knows this and he’s stressing to his teammates that the Lakers are going to be public enemy number one across the league.
“The bullseye becomes even greater … For me, the bullseye has been on my back since I came into the league, and then you add the Lakers name on top of that … the bullseye has always been on this franchise,” LeBron said Monday, via Harrison Faigen of SB Nation.
If the Lakers are hoping to win another championship, they can’t get complacent. There’s no more element of surprise with this team. Teams across the league are going to start building their rosters with the Lakers in mind. Starting a dynasty is incredibly difficult in the NBA and Los Angeles needs to be ready to be even better this season.
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LeBron & Anthony Davis Committed to the Lakers
What’s going to set the Lakers apart from the rest of the league is that they have the best duo in the NBA with LeBron and Anthony Davis. Plus, both men are signed to the team long-term. LeBron signed an extension and Davis re-signed on a five-year deal recently. LeBron had a chance to talk about why the two men have decided to stick around for the next few years.
“It means that we’re here and we’re committed to this franchise. We’re going to give everything we got,” he said.
The Lakers will be competitive as long as those two guys are on the team. It’s doesn’t matter how big the bullseye is on the team when they have so much talent.
LeBron Talks Lakers Addition
Another big reason why the Lakers should be favored to repeat as champions is because of what they’ve done this offseason. It’s hard to argue that they haven’t improved the roster. The additions of Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell could be really big upgrades. LeBron is excited about his new teammates.
“Adding guys that play the right way and are hungry to win at the highest level … guys hungry to make a mark on their careers,” LeBron said.
The Lakers were able to get younger while also getting more talented. Their roster is stacked right now. After struggling to find a third scoring option behind Davis and LeBron last season, they now have two guys who can put up over 18 points every night. It remains to be seen if either Harrell or Schroder will come off the bench but it’s very possible that this season’s Sixth Man of the Year is playing for the Lakers.