With the Lakers winning the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament (IST) by beating the Indiana Pacers in dominant fashion in Las Vegas, many wondered after the victory if the historic franchise would celebrate the title with a banner.
With the Lakers being known for only hanging championship banners, not division titles or conference championships, it was a mystery knowing if they would approach this title with the same nonchalantness they do other team accomplishments.
Well, it looks like we have our answer now, as the Lakers will be hanging a banner to celebrate their IST success during their upcoming home game on Dec. 18 vs. the New York Knicks.
The Los Angeles Lakers will unveil a unique NBA In-Season Tournament banner to honor their 2023 IST championship. It will be a single forever banner hung on Dec. 18, where future dates will be added should the franchise win additional IST titles in future.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 11, 2023
This is interesting because not only does it go against the Lakers' stance that only NBA titles matter, but just last week, it was reported they would not hang a banner if they won the IST.
So, what changed? Did the organization have a change of heart after winning? Did the NBA lightly tap the Lakers on the shoulder and say it's probably not a good idea to marginalize a tournament we want to matter?
We'll have to wait and hear what owner Jeanie Buss or general manager Rob Pelinka say on the matter, but for now, we know a new banner will be hanging at Crypto.com Arena soon.
The new banner will also be a different shape and color so as to not confuse it with the 18 NBA championship banners currently hanging.
The Lakers‘ new banner for their home arena will be a different shape and color than the existing NBA championship banners to make it distinct. The team wants to honor the moment but recognizes its distinction among titles.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 11, 2023
The distinction in shape and color and leaving space to add multiple years is wise. With how much success the Lakers have, you don't want a bunch of IST banners mixing in with the championship ones and looking disjointed and confusing for fans when they enter the arena.
The hanging of this banner will conclude the first IST. A title run that Darvin Ham says the Lakers "needed" as the team hopes to build off this momentum into a successful 2023/24 season.
The job's not finished. The Lakers will hang a banner in December, but the ultimate goal is to announce the hanging of another in June.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.