TNT’s Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal Believe Lakers Must Win Now

As arguably the team with the most pressure to win immediately headed into the 2012-13 NBA season, the new-look Los Angeles Lakers will be under a microscope from now until June; if they make it that far.

With the additions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, the consensus has been that the Lakers are built to win a championship this season and perhaps the next. Along with Nash signing three-year deal with Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will be under contract next season while it appears that Howard is leaning towards re-signing with the team next summer.

Needless to say, nothing short of a trip to the NBA Finals this season and the next is expected of this veteran team filled with superstars. NBA legend and TNT analyst Charles Barkley said the following about the Lakers heading into the season via Vincent Bonsignore of L.A. Daily News:

“There’s a ton of pressure on Mike Brown,” said Charles Barkley, a TNT analyst. “The Lakers have to win now.”

With the talented roster that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has been able to build around Kobe, there’s no question that it’s NBA Finals or bust this season. The Lakers’ front office has gone all-in with the recent additions and willingness to pay a huge luxury tax as a result.

—- Kick off the season with your own Lakers Nation t-shirt! —-

Former Laker Shaquille O’Neal also agrees with Barkley’s opinion about the Lakers coach Mike Brown and the immediate future of the team with the revamped roster:

Shaquille O’Neal, also a TNT analyst, agreed.

“There is a ton of pressure to win in L.A.” O’Neal said. “Now.”

Although there will almost certainly be a few bumps in the road along the way for the Lakers with Howard, Nash, Kobe and Pau Gasol learning to play together, the end result will have some consequences as Brown will be on the hot seat right out of the gate and Howard may ultimately decide to sign elsewhere for less money if the chemistry isn’t working in Los Angeles.

There’s a long way to go from now until the end of the season for the new-look Lakers, but one thing is for certain, the spotlight will be pointed in the direction of this storied franchise with enormous pressure to dominate the competition this season.

__________________________________________________________________________________
Check out what Mike Brown had to say about Kobe being “chippy” in practice today.
__________________________________________________________________________________
[jwplayer config=”lakersnation_player” file=”http://youtu.be/7bdY7VnhZxc” autostart=”false”]

You May Also Like

Lakers News: LeBron James Compares Playing Against Chris Paul To Rajon Rondo & Draymond Green

After winning a thrilling Play-In Tournament game against the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers will turn…

Lakers News: Team Trying To Avoid Letting Success Go To Their Head

The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the biggest surprises of the NBA season so far, improving their record to 4-3 after their third straight victory on Sunday night against the Phoenix Suns…

Lakers News: LeBron James Shot Final 3-Pointer Against Heat Because Lance Stephenson Dared Him

LeBron James made sure the Los Angeles Lakers immediately bounced back after one of their most disappointing performances of the season…

Lakers Rumors: L.A. Needs To Add Talent To Make Team More Enticing To Paul George

The Los Angeles Lakers need a superstar, and Indiana Pacers forward would appear to be their target….