We already knew that the Lakers would take on the Golden State Warriors to open the season and see the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day, but after a short wait, the NBA has revealed the rest of the Lakers’ 2021-22 games as well.
A full breakdown of when and where the Lakers will play can be seen below, but as expected, they will be getting showcased to the basketball world on national television quite a bit this year:
- Grammy trip is Jan. 21-30: ORL, MIA, BKN, PHI, CHA, ATL— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) August 20, 2021
- Russ vs. the Wizards on March 11 (STAPLES) and March 19 (in DC)
The NBA teams most on Turner networks this season:— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 20, 2021
13 appearances by the Los Angeles Lakers
12 by the Golden State Warriors
11 by the Brooklyn Nets
10 by the Milwaukee Bucks
Here’s a deep dive into the schedule quirks for this season: pic.twitter.com/6EjFBXiUhH— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 20, 2021
Kyle Kuzma, KCP and Montrezl return to LA in March as the Wiz are reunited with Russell Westbrook twice in just over a week. pic.twitter.com/ARWZfnWh8L— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) August 20, 2021
Including NBA TV, the Lakers will be on national television 42 times, with 30 games on ABC, ESPN and TNT combined. That appears to be the most of any team, as the Nets (27) and the Clippers (26) both have less. The team’s press release provided a few more details:
The Lakers will play on Christmas Day for the 23rd consecutive season, hosting the Nets at STAPLES Center. Other marquee home games include the Miami HEAT November 10, the Boston Celtics December 7, the Utah Jazz January 17 and the Milwaukee Bucks February 8.
Los Angeles will take a six-game road trip, the team’s longest of the season, from January 21-30. Additionally, the Lakers have two five-game home stands from November 8-15 and from December 31 to January 9. Los Angeles will play 12 sets of back-to-back games in 2021-22, including two with no travel.
For an old team, that back-to-back part is probably an especially welcome blessing from the league office.
It’s also not a shock that the Lakers will have more national TV games than anyone. In addition to being a large market with an absolutely massive fanbase who watches them as much as possible, they’re also expected to be one of the lead contenders for this season’s championship. Add in three heavily watched stars with plenty of storylines following them like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, and this team is basically catnip to broadcast executives who want to showcase them for ratings as much as possible.
If fans of small markets don’t like that, I suggest buying NBA league pass.
Before the season officially opens in approximately two months, the Lakers will begin training camp on Sept. 28, a little less than a month before their opening night matchup with the Warriors on Oct. 19. In between, the Lakers will play six preseason games, starting on Oct. 3 against the Nets and wrapping up on Oct. 14 against the Sacramento Kings.