September 15, 2021 at 08:35 pm
The Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA are truly rich and impatient, too, for that matter.
Remember last year when there were teams contemplating throwing in the towel because of the worldwide pandemic that strangled sports?
The Lakers were one of the few teams not worried financially as they knew they could weather the bad storm better than the others.
And the Lakers even crowned themselves champions in the first-ever bubble-type tournament for the league, behind the tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
But the injuries took its toll on the Lakers after a good start in the next regular season, with LeBron and Anthony alternating on being hurt.
The team certainly did not look like defending champions, but more of depending champions--dependent wholly on the health of their superstars. The team did not even go past the first round of the playoffs.
And surprisingly, the Lakers even let go of Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, Dwight Howard and Javale McGee -- players who helped them win the 2020-21 finals when they beat a gritty Miami Heat team, led by Jimmy Butler.
This coming season, the team underwent a major revamp, showing how impatient this team is to win its 18th NBA title.
New major pieces are Russel Westbrook from Washington, and past their prime but still pretty competitive Carmelo Anthony from Portland, ex-Net Deandre Jordan, the returning Howard and Rondo, plus Trevor Ariza. The Lakers also added young players Kendrick Nunn, Kent Bazemore and Malik Monk and retained Talen Horton Tucker.
Gone were Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrel and Wes Matthews, among others.
Question is, is this super team enough to guarantee the Lakers of the next crown?
Sorry, but there are other worthy teams standing in their way, such as the Nets with their own big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the defending champions Milwaukee Bucks, which practically retained their team, and I would say Utah, Denver, even Miami as contenders. The dark horses being former finalists are Phoenix and Atlanta. Maybe, even the Clippers, Golden State, Boston and New York will make their presence felt.
Plus, can the Lakers avoid what happened to them with player injuries, or will the second team deliver while the first team rests?
A lot of questions certainly and this will guarantee a competitive new NBA season.
On another topic, even as Filipinas or Fil-foreign players are making their presence felt internationally, it is unfortunate that the country is still under a two-year suspension imposed by the International Tennis Federation starting December 2020. As a result, when the Davis Cup competition begins, the Philippines will be in the outside looking in.
Reason? The failure of the Philippine Tennis Association to institute the organizational changes laid down by ITF to enable new elections to take place.
Why? Sports politics as usual and caught in the middle for the nth time are the athletes.
And that is the bottom line.