It took nearly a decade, but the Los Angeles Lakers are finally back at the top of the Western Conference, and fans of all 29 other teams in the NBA don’t know what to do with themselves.
The Lakers have only lost to three teams this season, so there are only 26 teams other teams whose fans have bragging rights over the Lakers’ faithful. Even then, the Lakers are ahead of all of them in the standings.
That hasn’t stopped people from talking, though, and Kyle Kuzma told Bill Oram of The Athletic that it’s because everyone is jealous of the Lakers’ success:
“Everybody is just going to say something about us just because we’re the Lakers and we’re winning,” Kyle Kuzma said. “A lot of people are probably jealous of us.”
As far as responses go, “it’s because they’re jealous” is pretty elementary, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
The Lakers, with a new head coach and almost an entirely new roster — including three new starters — have gone 20-3 to start the season and have the potential to get even better with time. Meanwhile, teams like the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets that have the benefit of continuity and supposed homegrown superstars are struggling to keep up.
You really hate to see it.
There’s still plenty of time left in the season for other teams to turn it around, but there’s no reason to believe the Lakers are going to regress. Even as their schedule has gotten tougher, they’ve looked the part of a legitimate title contender.
People can hate this Lakers team all they want, but they have to respect what they’ve been able to do so far.