Los Angeles Lakers had a rollercoaster 2022-23 NBA season. After being pushed down early in the tournament, the purple and gold rose from the ashes to produce a dramatic turnaround. With the help of decisive moves at the trade deadline, LA made a late playoff push and played the Western Conference Finals before eventually succumbing to Denver Nuggets.
In the playoff, the Lakers produced elite gameplay to knock out a sturdy Golden State Warriors in the second round. The likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green could not edge past the young LA lineup. Meanwhile, as the off-season kicked off a few weeks ago, the Lakers have once again managed to defeat the Warriors in a different setup.
Lakers Ranked Above Warriors In ESPN’s Summer Rankings
As soon as the off-season kicked off, the Los Angeles Lakers made swift moves. In a mere week’s time, the team had locked the roster barring two final spots. Rob Pelinka extended the contract of Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura, who had a breakout season last year. On top of that, the purple and gold also signed Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, and Jaxson Haynes to cover the 15-man roster. Overall, public opinion termed LA’s off-season as a success. It seems like the feeling resonated with the ESPN panel as they ranked the Lakers above the Warriors in Summer Rankings. While LA gained the seventh spot, Golden State was seated right below at the eighth place.
Dave McMenamin, ESPN’s lead NBA reporter, issued an explanation for ranking Warriors low in the rankings. McMenamin said that Golden State Warriors made only two noteworthy moves this off-season. Draymond Green extended his contract for four additional years, whereas Chris Paul was traded from the Wizards in exchange for Jordan Poole. While Chris Paul’s sign-in is significant, his role in the roster is not clear. According to the ESPN pundit, Paul will mostly come off the bench as a sixth player next year, whether he likes it or now. While negotiations are on, it’s hard to imagine the point guard being a starter for the Warriors in the 2023-24 NBA season. Overall, considering all these points, Dave thinks that the Lakers certainly had a better off-season than Golden State.
Steph Curry Opens Up On His Relationship With LeBron James
Warrior’s Steph Curry and Laker’s LeBron James remain the top basketball players of modern times. On many occasions, the duo had been seen locking horns on the court. Recently, Curry and James faced each other in the 2022-23 NBA season playoffs. James got the better of Curry in the series as the Lakers trashed the Warriors out of the postseason. However, the intense rivalry on the court has not adversely affected the duo’s professional relationship.
Steph Curry recently opened up on his relationship with LeBron James. He said that the bond is very complex because LeBron is way too senior to him. Having said that, the duo apparently shares a lot of mutual respect for each other. Both stalwarts are in awe of each other’s game and will continue to compete in good spirits going forward.