With the NBA inviting 22 teams to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for the restart of the 2019-20 season, the hope and expectation is a champion will be crowned three months from now.
The Los Angeles Lakers and all other teams invited to the bubble will play three exhibition contests followed by eight seeding games. A play-in tournament for the No. 8 seeds in both conferences could follow before the playoffs begin.
For the Lakers, who held the distinction of being the only Western Conference team to clinch a playoff berth prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic suspending play, they will be on a mission to win their first NBA championship since the 2009-10 season.
Led by the dynamic duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, L.A. has posted a 49-14 record through 63 games, ranking in the top-five in both offensive and defensive rating.
Magic Johnson, who helped deliver the franchise five titles during his playing days, is rooting for the Lakers to be the last team standing in Orlando so owner Jeanie Buss can hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy like her father, via CBS L.A. Sports Central:
“Jeanie Buss, our ultimate leader. You have to give her a lot of credit. She was put in a tough situation, especially when I left. And then had to make a tough decision on Coach Walton, and she made that decision. She’s really stepped up and for the fans, she wants to win a championship. And I want to see her be this woman standing on stage, receiving the NBA championship trophy like her father did. That would be awesome.”
Though Johnson no longer holds an official role with the Lakers after abruptly stepping down as president of basketball operations last year, it is evident he still maintains a close relationship with Buss.
Johnson spoke highly of her after the Lakers completed a blockbuster trade for Davis, praising her leadership and ability to make deals.
Buss also confirmed last December that she and Johnson are still as close as ever, and feels no ill-will over how he departed the franchise.
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