One of the biggest surprises on opening night for the Los Angeles Lakers was Avery Bradley. It was surprising that he took the court at all as the Lakers had claimed him off waivers just the night before, but with no practices with the team, Bradley looked great.
In eight fourth-quarter minutes, Bradley knocked down a pair of threes and provided his normal intensity on the defensive end, though it unfortunately didn’t help the Lakers get the win. Bradley, of course, was with the Lakers during the 2019-20 season but opted out of going to the bubble due to the health of his son. He spent the preseason with the Golden State Warriors and during the preseason game between the two sides, the Lakers played a tribute video for him.
No one could have guessed that just days later Bradley would be back in a Lakers uniform, but the veteran said that he felt more emotions during that preseason tribute than suiting up on Opening Night.
“I think I felt that last preseason game when they did the tribute,” Bradley said following the game. “That was my first time back in the building since I played here. I think all the emotions were during that. Being here now, I’m just happy I’m here and more excited to get opportunities to play and show that I can help this team than anything.”
Bradley was essential to the Lakers in 2020, starting 44 games and being one of the team’s primary perimeter defenders. Though he didn’t go to the bubble, the franchise did still gift him a championship ring for his contributions during the season.
Bradley didn’t expect the Lakers to do any kind of tribute for him when he returned as a member of the Warriors, but now that he’s back with the franchise, he’s happy and ready to contribute.
“First of all, it shows what kind of organization the Lakers are to play that video for me,” Bradley added. “They didn’t have to, but I really appreciated it. That was just a nice feeling to be back here in the building with the fans. This is always home, being a part of the special team I was a part of is something that I’ll always hold onto for the rest of my life. So I’m just happy to have a chance to put this jersey back on.”
Frank Vogel says Lakers welcomed back Avery Bradley with open arms
Bradley opted out of his contract with the Lakers following the 2020 season, but despite his decision to leave and to not go to the bubble, Frank Vogel says the franchise welcomed him back with open arms.
“He’s been part of our program the last couple of years, two years ago more specifically. He’s someone that when he was waived, we felt like he could help us,” Vogel said.
“He made a personal choice based on his family during the pandemic where there’s a lot of fear around the world, you know? So we’re welcoming him back with open arms.”
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