Heading into the 2019-20 season, the Los Angeles Lakers were not viewed as the ideal franchise following Magic Johnson’s sudden resignation and subsequent harsh words towards Rob Pelinka.
But things have completely changed as everyone is on the same page from the top down. From Jeanie Buss and Pelinka leading the front office down to head coach Frank Vogel and the team’s cornerstone superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, everyone is on one accord.
Of course, a year ago all of these pieces were coming together for the first time, but a trust has been built. “During the season Frank is always asking questions about the team,” Davis explained.
“If he’s up in the air about a decision he comes to me and L.J. Rob does the same thing about the team, trades, if he wants to bring a guy in. I think the relationship and trust has been built throughout the course of the year. From Day 1 they’ve been two guys who want nothing but the best for this team and each player. Keeping me and ‘Bron in the loop about every single decision. … For a coach and GM to always keep their players in the loop, it just builds that trust.”
And that trust was seemingly justified after Pelinka made a number of additions to the roster that has made them the prohibitive championship favorites for 2021. Now the focus will turn towards the court where it will be on Davis, James and Vogel to continue to build on the foundation they set.
“I think we hit the ground running with being on the same page with our plan and culture we wanted to set, earned a lot of trust between each other throughout the course of the season,” Vogel reflected.
“And obviously when you accomplish something like we did in terms of winning a championship, I think that strengthens any relationship and puts us in a space where no one will ever take that away from us. We won a championship together and I think there’s a bond that’s created that lasts forever.”
LeBron, Davis out for preseason Clippers games
The first step towards the Lakers’ championship run is now beginning with a preseason opener against the L.A. Clippers on Friday night. However, it won’t be a full dress rehearsal for the Lakers as James and Davis are being held out.
Davis does eventually want to log preseason minutes in a safe manner. “I actually want to make sure I’m good to go. I don’t want to rush into anything,” he said.
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