The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2021-22 season officially gets underway on Sunday afternoon when they host the Brooklyn Nets in the first preseason game.
While both teams will be missing key players in this game, many view it as a potential NBA Finals preview considering the star power that’s on both rosters.
One player who is very familiar with both teams is center DeAndre Jordan, who played for the Nets the last two seasons before moving on to the Lakers this summer.
When speaking about a potential Finals matchup, Jordan downplayed it as both teams still need to get through a full season before that’s a possibility.
“I got love for a lot of those guys over there, but at the end of the day, in the West you got to go through Phoenix and in the East you got to go through Milwaukee, regardless of what everybody else wants to say,” Jordan said after Saturday’s practice. “Obviously both teams have championship aspirations, so I’m not going to say that we don’t want to be playing late in June for a title. But it’s going to take 82 games for us to be able to get and get ready and I’m sure the same for those guys. But we can’t look at tomorrow as a Finals prediction. If it happens, it happens, but I think we’re just trying to focus on us and us being healthy and us figuring out a way to be able to be there in June.”
Jordan will be playing against the team that traded him for the first time on Sunday, but he doesn’t believe the game holds any extra significance.
“At the end of the day, it’s another basketball game. You never know who’s gonna play, who’s not gonna play. So you can’t go into games like this thinking about anything but us going in there and focusing on what we’ve been practicing in the past week and trying to incorporate it into a game.”
How many minutes Jordan plays remains to be seen, but one thing to keep an eye on will be how Frank Vogel manages his center rotation between him, Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis.
Jordan not focused on departure from Nets
While Jordan was originally brought over to the Nets alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in order to pursue the franchise’s first championship, it obviously didn’t end like that for him.
Jordan is not focused on the past though as he is now back in L.A. with the goal of bringing the Lakers a championship.
“I don’t care about that. Like I said, I got a lot of love for those guys over there. So I’m not thinking about, ‘oh, I should stayed,’ I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about where I’m at now and my focus is here with this group of guys and I’m excited about it. Like I said, we have plenty of friends on different teams and you’re not thinking about how their season’s going. You wish them luck and wish them health, but I’m focused on what we have here.”
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