The Los Angeles Lakers will head into the 2014-15 NBA season with a lot of questions surrounding the future of the franchise. Kobe Bryant will be back to start the season, but no one knows how much the veteran has left in the tank after consecutive season-ending injuries.
Hall of Famer and current NBA on TNT analyst, Charles Barkley, has never held back from expressing his opinions. Barkley was asked about the return of Kobe Bryant for the 2014-15 NBA season and didn’t hold back to say the following about the Lakers and the five-time NBA champion, according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Barkley: "Kobe Bryant is going to save a lot of money on playoff tickets b/c the Lakers are not going to make the playoffs." (on @NBATV)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) August 13, 2014
With the team unable to sign Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James this summer, Kobe will make his return with a roster put together with second tier options. Los Angeles was able to acquire Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and sign Ed Davis, but weren’t able to land any of the big-name players in free agency.
Along with bringing in a few veterans, the Lakers drafted two promising prospects in Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. It remains to be seen if these rookies will make an immediate impact, but the team has high hopes for both players moving forward.
As for the rest of the roster, a lot of the players from last year’s squad are set to return. Nick Young, Jordan Hill, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Ryan Kelly have re-signed with the team. Kobe, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre are the only other players from last year’s team to return.
Needless to say, the odds will be against the Lakers in their attempt to bounce back following a 27-win season. Kobe and company are up for the challenge, but there’s no telling if they’ll be able to be a playoff contender in 2015.[divide]
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