The NBA Board of Governors officially voted to approve a plan to return to play, with the Los Angeles Lakers among the 22 teams returning to finish out the season which is slated to start July 31.
The NBPA followed suit on Friday, further putting the league one step closer to taking the court again. The news comes as a beacon of light amidst the current issues surrounding the world and could serve as a welcome distraction over the next couple of months.
The Lakers have been on a mission this season and are undoubtedly one of the favorites to win the NBA championship, especially after defeating the other two favorites, the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Clippers, just before the season was suspended.
With so much unknown regarding the global pandemic that postponed the season, many were unsure if the Lakers would get that chance to finish the season with the Larry O’Brien trophy. Now that the return is official, the Lakers’ focus is back on a championship and the team is excited for that possibility.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Lakers team and coaches are looking forward for the opportunity to win a championship:
“I was just on the phone with a Lakers team source who told me, ‘We’re all excited that the NBA figured out a conclusion to the end of the season because it means we have a title to play for.’ I also was in contact with a Lakers player who told me, ‘No one is going to have any problem with the stipulations that have been ratified with his vote because we’ve got a chance to play.’
“And a member of the Lakers coaching staff just texted me back, ‘Let’s roll, baby!’”
Overall, the Lakers are in the midst of their worst stretch in franchise history, having not made the playoffs in six consecutive seasons. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way, this season was not only set to end the franchise’s playoff drought, but also potentially win their first championship since 2010.
Every year players work tirelessly for the opportunity to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy and teams this season nearly had that taken away from them due to something completely out of their control.
The majority of the Lakers roster has not won a championship, as James, Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee are the only players to have done so. As such, it makes complete sense that the team as a whole is ecstatic and ready to get back to work to accomplish the ultimate goal in the NBA.