The Lakers are back in the familiar and comfortable position of the plucky little underdog story. Nobody believes in them and they’re just going to keep plugging away, hoping to take this little mom-and-pop franchise to glory.
On Tuesday, The Athletic published an anonymous survey of players across the NBA. One of the questions asked was, out of their own team, which team did players think had the best chance at winning the title.
Predictably, the Bucks were a heavy favorite with 62.2% of the vote of 90 players. The Celtics followed before the Warriors, who notably had a .268 win percentage on the road this season. The Nuggets, Suns, Sixers, Clippers, and Kings all also received votes to round out the poll.
Which means the Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, were not picked by any player.
This wasn’t a poll taken after Game 1 of the playoffs or the opening weekend, which probably would have changed some of the votes. But, man, not one person thought a team with a healthy LeBron and AD in a wide-open Western Conference could win the title?
I’m choosing to believe the only realistic explanation is that every Laker was surveyed in this, as well as guys like Patrick Beverley or Russell Westbrook, and that’s why the Lakers were selected by anyone.
The end result, though, is that we can lean right back into the “We Believe” narrative. It worked for the Lakers in the bubble, and it led to a title. Perhaps the team needs to just embrace that mindset once again to find success.
Nobody believes in the Lakers. Now, it’s time to prove the haters and doubters wrong.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.