My longform thoughts on what I believe the Lakers can and will be this year are pretty clear. If you don’t know them, click the link!
While that’s how I think things will go, though, that’s not why I watch. Whether my predictions or analysis holds up as the final word of truth isn’t why I run this site or why I make time for the Lakers. I love the game and I want to see the team I root for play it.
Underneath it all, too, I actually am optimistic about this team and where they are going. I believe the young players — especially Randle, Russell, and Clarkson — are going to be very good. I like the veterans brought in over the summer. And I still really enjoy watching Kobe Bryant. I like this team.
To be completely honest, I couldn’t say the same about last year’s group. Nothing against those guys — I think most of them are perfectly good players — but the entire season was marred by injury, discussions of lottery odds, #teamtank, the job Byron Scott was doing, and all the losing. Watching that team night in and night out became a chore.
This year, however, just feels different. Not because the specter of losing is completely gone or because another injury can’t happen, but because the direction of where they are going is now more clear. While there is a balancing act to manage, there are pieces in place that have the chance to dig in their roots and grow into the foundation of the next era.
All of this is to say, I am quite excited Lakers’ basketball is back. We may not get a huge jump in the standings or a significant increase in wins from the last two years. And, yes, there are still questions about next summer, free agency, and what might happen with Kobe. But, ultimately, none of those things are going to dampen my (initial) enthusiasm for this season.
There will be more ups and downs this year. Frustrations will follow. There will even probably be a point where I’ll look back at this specific post and wonder what the hell I was thinking when I decided to feel good about this year. But, as the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. And, after not seeing any real Lakers’ basketball since April, I am ready.
Lakers’ basketball is back. Thank goodness.