After finishing 11th in the West last season, the Los Angeles Lakers are still far from where they want to be as a team. Between the attitude of Russell Westbrook, the age of LeBron James, and the questionable depth of their supporting cast, there are more reasons than one to be pessimistic about the season ahead.
But superstar big man Anthony Davis seems to really be looking forward to this season, and he isn’t short on confidence when it comes to believing his team can make a run.
A day before his team’s opening night against the defending champs, Davis spoke about the matchup and got real about potential spoiling their big night.
“Our first two games are against two title contenders. It’s always good to spoil a ring night. So our mindset is going up and starting this season with a couple Ws,” Davis said on Monday.
The Lakers will have to sit and watch as the Warriors receive their championship rings one by one. After a season of turmoil, it will serve as a brutal reminder of how flawed and dysfunctional the Lakers really are.
With mostly the same roster from last year, it remains to be seen if the Purple and Gold can improve from their previous run, but Davis remains hopeful.
“Coming off the championship season, I don’t wanna say we were high, but it was my first time winning a championship at this level, and it is a different feeling,” said Davis. “With COVID as well, you don’t get your parade, you gotta find ways to celebrate. Then we come into a season and injuries started to happen. Following season, the same thing. For me, I try not to get too high or too low. I kind of knew that, but it really went into effect the last 2 years. When you have great season, you don’t want to come into the next year really high. You wanna be even keel. When you have a tough season, like the last 2, you don’t wanna get down and be tough on yourself… Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. As an organization and a team, we learned that. We have to stay even keel and focus on winning games, even if we win the championship or not.”
In the West alone, the Lakers face some pretty steep competition. Between the Warriors, Clippers, Nuggets, Suns, and Grizzlies, the path to a playoff spot will be riddled with challenges.
But if Davis stays locked-in, and is able to step up as a leader both on and off the court, it could drastically alter the balance of power in the Western Conference. Tuesday night should give us our first clue.