The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most successful franchises in all of American sports, having won 16 NBA Championships throughout their existence. The Lakers are also known for their extremely high standards in what and who they choose to honor and the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament has brought about some questions.
While other teams raise banners for any accomplishments such as division or conference titles, the Lakers only raise championship banners. Likewise, the only jerseys that go into the rafters are those of Hall of Fame players. The question now is whether a potential In-Season Tournament Championship would be worthy of a banner in the Crypto.com Arena.
The Lakers will take on the Indiana Pacers in the In-Season Tournament Championship and according to Arash Markazi of The Messenger, the team has no plans on changing their stance of raising anything other than championship banners:
I’m told the Lakers currently have no plans to change their stance on only hanging banners for NBA championships. They don’t hang banners for Western Conference titles, Pacific Division titles and (for now) potential NBA In-Season Tournament titles, only NBA titles.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 8, 2023
However, NBA reporter Marc Stein has heard differently, noting in his Substack that there has been no determination made of whether or not the Lakers would raise such a banner:
One source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said after the Lakers’ semifinal rout of New Orleans that no determination has been made yet, one way or the other, about raising a banner to the Crypto.com Arena rafters if LeBron James and Co. can beat the Haliburton-led Pacers in Saturday night’s IST final.
The Lakers of course, must not get ahead of themselves as they have a tough task ahead of them to take home that championship against rising superstar Tyrese Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have the best offense in the entire NBA and took out both of the Eastern Conference favorites, the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, on their way to this championship game.
Containing Haliburton won’t be easy for the Lakers as the point guard followed a 26-point, 10-rebound, 13-assist triple-double in the quarterfinals with 27 points and 15 assists in the semis and did not commit a single turnover in either game.
But if the Lakers defense can step up, then the franchise will have a very interesting decision to make about what belongs in their rafters.
Austin Reaves says Lakers must be wary of speed in which Pacers play
Austin Reaves is also very much aware of the challenge in front of the Lakers and knows that the team must be on their toes defensively against the Pacers who run every chance they get.
“Just the energy. They play with a lot of pace,” Reaves said. “Tyrese does a hell of a job leading their whole team. The way they play offensively, super fast, a lot of threes. But just the pace that they play with, we are going to have to be on high alert.
“Every single shot we take offensively, miss or make, they are going to be running the ball down the floor after that right as fast as they can. It’s just playing with energy and playing the right way.”
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