With a busy offseason behind them, the Los Angeles Lakers are about to embark on one of the most important seasons in franchise history. Fortunately for them, though, they’re coming off a summer that teamed up LeBron James with Anthony Davis, so despite the hits the front office took all summer, they still came out all right.
James made sure to point that out during media day Friday afternoon.
“I think Rob (Pelinka), Kurt (Rambis), Linda (Rambis) and Jeanie (Buss) and everybody else did a hell of a job this summer. From acquiring AD to acquiring everyone that’s a part of this team, to bringing back the guys that were free agents last year, bringing them back to the roster, they did a hell of a job, and... hand-picking the coaching staff as they did,” James told reporters.
“Throughout all the bull that was narrated for our franchise, and narrated going towards Rob and the beautiful people that we have upstairs, they just kept their blinders on and focused on what they had to do to help this franchise be as competitive as they can be... I think they did a hell of a job, and I’m happy to be a Laker.”
Look, while the Lakers fell short of their planned goal that featured landing Kawhi Leonard to team up with Davis and James, they were still able to rebound with a fairly productive offseason. Pelinka deserves a ton of credit for pursuing that initial goal while also having an alternative plan just in case.
Compare this offseason to the drunken-sailor spending after they signed James last summer, and this could do down as one of the greatest offseasons in the history of, well, offseasons themselves.
This Lakers team makes sense. That’s exponentially more than you could say about last year’s roster. It’s also set up to maintain flexibility moving forward so long as superstar free agents still show interest in playing for the Lakers. All-in-all, this was a pretty decent summer.
Do I have my gripes? Of course I do. Who do you think you’re reading? Rajon Rondo is right there, potentially the leading candidate to start at point guard.
But for the most part, this is one of the few teams that can legitimately claim a spot among the NBA’s title contenders, and given everything the Lakers went through last season, that’s quite the accomplishment.
Everyone involved in this Lakers season, from LeBron, to Pelinka, to Davis and the coaching staff, all have a ton riding on this season. Fortunately for fans, they seem to be approaching the year with the mentality and appreciation for each other that matches that challenge.