Your New Los Angeles Lakers Host 2018 Media Day
By Camron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
Though the Los Angeles Lakers have missed the playoffs 3 of the last 4 seasons. The arrival of these new accomplished free agents will certainly change the makeup and mindset of this 2018- 2019 Los Angeles Lakers team. Lakers Legend and GM Magic Johnson have brought in experienced champions to play next to their core of young players to advance their development and ultimately claim another championship trophy.
In 2017, the Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball with the #2 overall pick. They were also fortunate enough to have also drafted Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart late in that same draft. A year earlier they drafted Brandon Ingram with #2 overall pick and Center Ivica Zubac with the 32nd pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Though they haven’t made the playoffs over the past couple years, these recent draft picks have become the core of this Laker team.
Earlier in the summer the Lakers GM Magic Johnson said confidently, “if we do not sign a top free agent this summer. I will step down, because it will mean I can’t do my job.” Magic said this after being fined for tampering, when he mentioned that they would like to have Paul George playing in the purple and gold Lakers uniform in this coming season.
Once Magic, publicly put his job in the line when he stated they will sign a top free agent… that was a clear indication, that someone was coming. After Magic met with LeBron at the opening of Free Agency; a few days later James then announced that he will be bringing his talents to Southern California to play for the iconic Los Angeles Lakers.
Bringing on LeBron James was a no-brainer for the Lakers brass. Finding quality talent to surround James and this young core of talent with will be the challenge for them. To open training camp the will bring in former NBA Champions Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee along with versatile Forward Michael Beasley and enigmatic Lance Stephenson. With these cast of characters, this is sure to be an entertaining team to follow and report on.
Many of the Lakers players spoke at their media day event, we have listed some of the notable quotes from the day;
“My decision was based solely on my family and the Lakers,” said LeBron. When asked if he’s more interested in becoming a Laker, to become a Hollywood mogul, “I’m a basketball player. I play ball. That’s what I do.” Knowing Lebron has made the Final 8 consecutive seasons, I was surprised to hear him say “I don’t believe the only thing that’s a success in marking a season is winning a championship.” As, from my understanding this seems to go against all that championships think and believe…?
When Lonzo was asked about his jumper, he emphatically stated, “Everybody’s saying my jump shot’s this new thing.” He continued on to say, “To me it’s not really changed a lot. I think I’ve just got a lot stronger, so I ain’t really gotta fling the ball like I did last year. It’s moved a little bit more to the middle, but it’s still on the left side.” ”I’m just trying to focus on my mechanics now: keeping my hand up, keep my elbow in more. I think me just being stronger in my upper body (makes) it easier to get it to the rim.”
“I think the biggest thing is defensively — that’s been my focus this whole summer,” Kuzma proudly stated. He went on to say, “Really just trying to get my body right. Get stronger, quicker, more agile. The knock on me last year was defense. Not every rookie can come in and be perfect. That’s just one area I really wanted to fine-tune.” As a basketball fan, this will be exciting to watch play out.
When asked about what he’s interested in, Brandon Ingram made it clear, “I don’t like video games,” “Every time y’all ask me that, I tell y’all the same thing. I really don’t do much. I play basketball!”
One player that has been catching everyone’s eye is Svi Mykhailiuk. His shooting in the summer league couple with his defensive prowess has teammates excited about his rookie season. Svi alongside of Moritz Wagner will bring youth to this mixture of accomplish veterans and a young core of talented players. Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley will add to experience and tenaciousness to the bench.
Though it’s is far too early to make any predictions, I am confident that these Los Angeles Lakers are sure to be more formidable with James on the team, never mind the other free agents they brought in to join him. It may take a month or so, for their young core players to gel with the experienced players they brought in. Off Seasons like the Lakers endured this past summer are reasons for their fans to be much more excited about this than they have in recent years. Please let me know your thoughts on What’s Good with the Los Angeles Lakers and their off season acquisitions by commenting in the comment section of this article at www.whatsgoodinsports.com.