Entering the 2021-22 season, the clear favorites to meet in the 2022 NBA Finals are the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.
Both the Lakers and Nets employ a “Big 3,” but each team has also surrounded them with high-level veteran role players to help them with their championship runs. The two organizations seemed to be trying to woo the same free agents over the summer, but the Lakers took a shot on someone the Nets were Ok moving on from by signing DeAndre Jordan.
The Nets surprisingly parted ways with Jordan, who ended up getting bought out by the Detroit Pistons. Jordan was close friends with stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and revealed that he has no ill feelings towards the Nets and his former teammates about the situation.
“We’re definitely not friends anymore (laughs),” Jordan quipped. “No, I’m just joking. We’re friends before basketball, after basketball and I think ultimately we all just want to be happy. And being able to compete is something that is very important to me. They understand that and we’re brothers beyond basketball.
“So us being teammates or not, isn’t gonna reflect or affect our relationship. I did have a great time in Brooklyn the two years that I was there, being able to experience that culture in New York, my family being able to experience that culture in New York and being able to live in that city and play for that team was awesome. I have a ton of memories for the two years that I was there and I won’t forget those but I’m definitely excited to start this next chapter.”
Basketball is ultimately a business, so teams will do what they feel is necessary in order to win. In Brooklyn’s case, trading away Jordan opened up roster space to sign players like Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge while Los Angeles believed the center could complement an already stacked roster.
As things currently stand, it is hard to imagine the Lakers and Nets not meeting in the Finals. They have the requisite stars, depth, and experience to win a championship and it would be one of the best Finals matchups if it ever came to fruition.
Lakers trade Marc Gasol to Grizzlies
When the news of Jordan’s signing broke, it seemed as though Marc Gasol’s time with the Lakers was coming to an end. After weeks of speculation, Los Angeles finally traded Gasol to the Memphis Grizzlies, which allows him to remain home in Spain with his family.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!