While it’s not officially clinched yet, the Los Angeles Lakers should be returning to the NBA playoffs during the 2019-20 NBA season after a six-year drought.
It had been an unbelievably tumultuous six seasons, including owner Jeanie Buss ousting her own brother and firing general manager Mitch Kupchak.
The last time the Lakers made the NBA playoffs, the team was led by Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash during the 2012-13 season. Buss had no control over the decision making and Bryant tore his Achilles being forced to play 45 minutes per game in order to will Los Angeles into the playoffs.
After all that’s happened between then and now, Buss is excited to get back into the playoffs and be legitimate contenders to win it all, according to Los Angeles Times:
Jeanie Buss: “It’s been a long time since we’ve been in the playoffs. We were talking about how nice it is to have that anticipation of being back in the conversation and being able to compete at a high level and being first in the Western Conference. It’s very exciting.” pic.twitter.com/TYoMojt6r2
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) March 3, 2020
Buss makes mention of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, who were traded to the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2019 NBA offseason in exchange for Anthony Davis. While Ball, Ingram, and Hart remain near and dear to all Lakers fans hearts, Davis and LeBron James have been an absolute wrecking ball tandem this season.
The two All-Star players have helped lead the Lakers to a 47-13 record — the best in the Western Conference and No. 2 overall in the NBA. That’s success that Lakers fans thought they might never see again after some of the worst of the rebuilding seasons.
What Buss has done in her short time as the controlling owner of this team is remarkable. She brought the team from a lottery staple to a championship contender in just three seasons and she has every right to be excited about the direction of this team moving forward.