Once a great franchise, the banners of purple and gold has been raised by many great players. The great rivalries of the 60’s were the iconic players like Bill Russell and Elgin Baylor who battled in the initial days of the new formed National Basketball Association. The Lakers have always been this iconic franchise with players like Jerry “The Logo” West playing for the franchise along with Elgin Baylor. Unfortunately for them, that was the time of the great Celtics and Bill Russell. This is also the franchise to have the Showtime team in the 80’s which was led by Erwin Magic Johnson and the fast break offense which won 5 titles in the span of 9 years. In the late 90s comes the Era of Phil Jackson and the great Kobe Bryant with the iconic center of the generation Shaquille O’Neal. The franchise recorded their second 3peat and won two more titles in the 2009 and 2010.
Los Angeles Lakers have been the second most iconic franchise of the basketball. The team featured players who have combined to win the 8 MVP’s and 13 titles. With such a iconic team failure is not accepted and not expected from any player who joins them. The current owner Jeanie Buss appointed an iconic Laker to help bring back the team to the old glory days. Erving Magic Johnson was entrusted with the responsibility to resurrect a franchise which has seen better days and was on the downfall.
We must take a time and look at the work that Magic Johnson has done so far to help bring this team back to winning ways. He hired a young coach which works and believes in playing the team basketball and had a great season as interim head coach for the Golden State Warriors. In Luke Walton, he found a perfect guy which will translate Magic’s ideology of playing basketball in the right way. Magic Johnson successfully offloaded the unwanted heavy contracts on the team’s account to make space to sign free agents in the next few years. He also drafted the players with careful attention and has won the draft lottery for the past two years bringing players like Kyle Kuzma who is an excellent player and a star in making. He drafted the pass-first point guard in Lonzo Ball.
They waited a year for the best player in basketball to come to them instead of reaching for him or chose another player. In this year’s free agency they grabbed the ultimate price in LeBron James. When the best player in the league chooses your team then you have done something right. Kudos to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, for setting this team up.
Now with LeBron James, it’s time to watch the team come together and make its way into the playoffs and probably to another championship. All said and done, Las Vegas has set the odds of 7/2 for them to win the Championship in 2019.
If they do, all the credit will be given to LeBron and coaching staff- no doubt that he will make this team a contender- but the real credit goes to the ownership for trusting Magic Johnson and giving him the freedom to work his magic again for the Lakers franchise.
There is no doubt that the rise of the Purple and Gold will happen this season as they transform into a champion team or for the least as a contender with the Lebron James.