Would LeBron James be able to guarantee a title for Los Angeles Lakers?
Since the first time LeBron James switched to a different team in the 2010-2011 season, he has always managed to be champion in the next club with which he plays. He did it in the Miami Heat and in the Cleveland Cavaliers. The NBA has seen "winning teams" projects on many occasions, but not all of them reached the title as expected. For that reason, in LatinAmerican Post we made a projection about what may result from this attempt of Los Angeles Lakers to return to the top with James as a standard.
Leer en español: Los Angeles Lakers: En una línea delgada entre el éxito y el fracaso
The first thing we need to know is that it is not just about LeBron, the NBA champion in 2012, 2013 and 2016, and who will be charging 154 million dollars until 2022. The Lakers team was also strengthened with the experienced Rajon Rondo, a figure that was crowned champion with the Boston Celtics in 2008, as Depor indicated.
A fort around the "king"
Just having LeBron in the team is not a guarantee of a title, according to the newspaper Am of México. In 2010, James went to Miami because he had the support of two great players: Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Then in 2014 he returned to Cleveland because Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were waiting for him. This time will not be different.
As the same portal mentioned, LeBron went to the west because, in addition to Rondo, there would be other pieces of value in the team. In addition to the talented and young Lonzo Ball, there will be two veterans who guarantee defense under the hoop and attack options: JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson. It is also important to note that there is still talk about the possible acquisition of Clint Capela from the Houston Rockets.
Now, the immediate goal of the Lakers must be to return to the playoffs. Even a conference semifinal to start would not be bad. However, with the arrival of DeMarcus Cousins to the Golden State Warriors champions, the Oakland team is again the favorite to win the title because it keeps its base of years intact, according to AS USA. This team is followed by the Houston Rockets with James Harden and Chris Paul, and the Oklahoma City Thunder in its second year with the 'Big Three': Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George.
For that reason, in the 18-19, Los Angeles Lakers will play better, but it will hardly reach the title against more compenetrated teams. In the 19-20, the project must be more assembled, possibly with more reinforcements and there the goal will be to play the final that allows them to compete for the NBA title.
Those who failed
Those teams that were not successful in the NBA are highlighted by the portal Indicepr. Regressively, the web site places the Miami Heat first in its first season with LeBron in 2010-2011, after losing the NBA finals against the Dallas Mavericks that overcame it in six games, led by the German Dirk Nowitzki.
The Lakers of the 2003-2004 campaign also appear on this list. That year, two veterans consecrated in the league, but without titles like Karl Malone and Gary Payton, played with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant to reach their first championship. They did not make it, because they gave in to the Detroit Pistons in the final. This mixture of veteran with youth that did not work, is similar to what James and Ball will now form.
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The third team mentioned by Indicepr is the Houston Rockets of the 1996-1997 season. Utah Jazz put an end to that dream by eliminating the team in the final of the Western Conference of the NBA. Then there are the Orlando Magic of the 1994-1995 edition. That year, the Florida team acquired Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway to join Shaquille O 'Neal, and between them averaged 50 points per game.
To make matters worse, it had Horace Grant, a scorer who had been champion with the Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan. It was not a bad season, but it ended in the worst way: swept in the final by the Houston Rockets.
Those who succeeded
The Golden State Warriors became the New York Yankees of basketball, as indicated by Indicepr. However, it is important to point out that it was and is a project since 2009, which today is bearing fruit. It was not built based on veteran stars, but on young players who have grown and who now enjoy three titles with four consecutive finals.
Only Kevin Durant is not part of this long-term project and he arrived in 2017 as the big star. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and even Andre Iguodala gradually came to the team, as Mundo Deportivo explained.
A different and atypical case was presented at the Boston Celtics of the 2008 season. That year, explained NBA Maniacs, in the team were signed figures such as Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, to complement a stellar but lonely Paul Pierce and a young promising as Rajon Rondo, the same that today comes as a veteran to the Lakers.
Under the direction of Doc Rivers, Boston won immediately the title by beating Los Angeles Lakers of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in six games. However, neither in 2009 nor in 2010 the club even advanced to the NBA finals. In this sense, it was a success in one season, but not in the process.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "Los Angeles Lakers: En una línea delgada entre el éxito y el fracaso"