Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have won the NBA championship, the pressure will soon be on them to do it again next season.
Laker Nation, it’s official: The Los Angeles Lakers are your 2020 NBA world champions!
It’s come after a 10-year drought that was the franchise’s worst stretch ever. They had to endure Kobe Bryant’s torn Achilles, the death of then-owner Dr. Jerry Buss, some questionable coaching moves, some questionable personnel moves and six straight seasons of missing the playoffs.
Through it all, the front office of the Lakers, which was once a sterling model for the rest of the league, looked like a total joke.
But the Lakers’ turnaround began in earnest in 2017, when Jim Buss, son of Dr. Buss, was 86’d as team executive and replaced by team legend Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, Kobe Bryant’s former agent.
The two hatched a rebuilding plan that started to come to fruition when they landed LeBron James in July 2018, while the second part of the plan succeeded when L.A. traded for Anthony Davis a year later.
Then, Pelinka turned the team’s limited amount of cap space into a cadre of valuable role players.
New head coach Frank Vogel got everyone to buy into an identity of winning with defense and fast-break basketball, and just like that, the Lakers were back as title contenders.
After enduring a tumultuous season that included the death of Bryant and a worldwide pandemic, the Lakers were left standing as the NBA champs.
But of course, in L.A., fans don’t think in terms of single championships, but multiple championships and the core of this team seems set up to bring home just that.
To actually accomplish back-to-back NBA titles, the Lakers will need to do several things this offseason and not stand pat as they did too often during the Bryant era.
As Bryant himself once said, “Next season starts right now.”