With the 2019-2020 NBA season right around the corner, excitement is in the air for the opening night on October 22. The defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors will take on the New Orleans Pelicans, while the Los Angeles Lakers are set to face off against city rivals Los Angeles Clippers. The major moves made by both L.A. teams in the offseason have intensified the rivalry, especially following their battle for the services of Kawhi Leonard, who ended up signing with the latter organization.
The Lakers’ addition of Anthony Davis has created title aspirations among players and fans. Expectations are high for the newly assembled roster after coming off a disappointing season, but the tandem of LeBron James and Davis may lead to a quick turnaround. During an interview with USA Today — a clip of which is available via Twitter — Kobe Bryant shared his thoughts on the Lakers’ upcoming season and their newly constructed squad.
“I think hopefully they’ll stay healthy,” said Bryant, regarding the Lakers’ potential this year. “In sports, you can build a great roster and all of a sudden injuries happen and depletes your roster. If they can stay healthy, I think they’ve got a chance.”
Given his resume of five championships as a member of the Lakers, fans had been curious to hear Bryant’s opinion since the beginning of the summer. Having also been part of a number of underwhelming Lakers teams in his 20-year career, it’s no surprise that the Lakers legend is tempering expectations.
Currently tied for the third longest post-season drought at six consecutive years, the Los Angeles Lakers hope to contend once again, thanks to a significant roster overhaul. After giving up some remarkable assets to acquire Davis, the Lakers have certainly entered win-now mode as James is set to turn 35-years-old in December. The signings of Danny Green and Dwight Howard were a much-needed boost to the duo, but only time will determine how well they mesh on the court.
Several teams made intriguing moves throughout the summer, creating even more stiff competition for the Lakers. In the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets acquired Russell Westbrook, while the Los Angeles Clippers added Leonard and Paul George. Both players had been linked to the Lakers before joining the competition, which resulted in dismay among the loyal fanbase.
According to a previous report by The Inquisitr, Bryant believes that Leonard and George were seeking a new challenge by selecting the Clippers over the Lakers. This season, not only will the Lakers and Clippers battle it out for bragging rights of the city, but they will also be eyeing the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.