Behind the signing of LeBron James and other veterans, the Los Angeles Lakers are emerging from a phase foreign to them: rebuilding. After five straight seasons of missing the playoffs, there is finally reason to discuss a realistic possibility of ending that drought.
It’s a byproduct of the diligent work Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka completed since being put at the helm of the front office. They managed to clear up salary cap space for this summer, and flexibility moving forward.
Now it’s a matter of building on that progress and restoring the franchise to its previous heights. “I’ll personally feel a sense of urgency until we get a championship,” Pelinka recently said.
“I won’t rest until then. It’s just the way I’m built. I know Magic is the same way and Jeanie. We don’t compete to play games. We compete to win championships. There will be a sense of urgency until that happens.”
Although there’s a focus on getting the Lakers back to the promised land, it’s also clear Pelinka and the organization are determined to do so responsibly. The missteps of the previous Lakers regime serve as a cautionary tale.
And Pelinka is certainly aware the team isn’t necessarily on the precipice of winning a championship. And though he isn’t one to predict when that day may come, Pelinka is confident the Lakers will set the gold standard to get there.
“I think the best answer to that is we won’t rest until we do,” he said of winning an NBA title. “I can’t predict the future or when that’s going to be, but I can predict this: no one is going to out-work us to get there.”