Stop me if you’ve heard this before but the Denver Nuggets have been talking trash to the Los Angeles Lakers. Ever since Denver beat L.A. in the Western Conference Finals in a 4-0 sweep, Mike Malone and the Nuggets organization have taken every opportunity to remind you that they did.
During the NBA Finals, when you’d think all focus for Denver would be on their opponent, the Miami Heat, Malone was instead bringing a Polaroid from the celebration of a series win versus the Lakers and commenting, “What happened that night? Do you remember? Something about a broom and a sweep. I don’t know,” Malone said.
This, along with their championship parade introducing Malone as the “Lakers Daddy” and Malone’s shot at LeBron James saying, “I’m thinking about retiring” on the Pat McAfee show, has created tension amongst the fanbases.
James did respond to Malone in a cryptic Instagram post, but for the most part, the Lakers have taken the high road, acknowledging that they won and can talk if they want, but James did say that “there will be a time” to respond to the chatter.
For D’Angelo Russell, though, that time isn’t right now. He was pretty blunt about his lack of disinterest in the Nuggets chatter after Monday’s practice.
Russell has said the right things and has had a good preseason leading into his second year back with the Lakers, but this first matchup against the Nuggets will definitely have some spice to it. Denver is getting their championship rings that are almost as ugly as the new City Edition jerseys and then playing the Lakers, so expect the energy of the crowd and players alike to be at an all-time high in Denver.
A Lakers victory wouldn’t make up for the loss against Denver in the playoffs. However, as Justin Timberlake’s character Sean Parker said in the Social Network regarding revenge, “It’s not a dish best-served cold, It’s best served immediately and relentlessly.”
The purple and gold have a chance to deliver that first helping on Tuesday and get their first opening night win since the 2016/17 season.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.