The Los Angeles Lakers & the Denver Nuggets have had an intense rivalry since the last season. The media called the previous Western Conference Finals the revenge of the Nuggets. After all, back in 2020, the team from Colorado reached the conference finals as well. But the LA side had the better of them in 2020. Moreover, the Nuggets had never won a conference final before 2023. In 2020, the LA franchise went on to win the title. It was their 17th title. But the Nuggets had to wait longer for their maiden title. Finally, the team from Colorado won their maiden title last year.
Moreover, the Nuggets needed only five games to beat the Miami Heat in the previous NBA Finals. But before they reached the NBA Finals last season, they blew the Lakers away in the previous WCF. After the Nuggets swept the Lakers in the WCF, it was already humiliating. But now the Nuggets’ former coach attacked all the 17 championships the Lakers have ever won. George Karl wrote on Twitter that it just doesn’t matter how much the 17 championships mean to the fans. As per Karl, nobody can deny that these titles happened in the pre-ABA merger and because of the presence of the four icons.
George Karl Believes The Nuggets Have Been On Par With The Lakers In The Last 15 Seasons In Terms Of Winning Rings
Without Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson’s iconic “Showtime Duo” and the 2000’s Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal’s three-peat, these titles would not have been possible. Moreover, Karl states the 2020 bubble championship doesn’t count. It is indeed a part of a never-ending debate. George Karl never shies away from telling what he feels. He added that the Nuggets have won as many rings as the Lakers in the last 15 seasons. That’s how dismissive he is about the 2020 bubble championship.
It does not really matter if Karl is biased or not. But the fact is most of the teams that win the titles generally have one or two MVP-level players. The Lakers Nation won’t care about Karl’s statement that showed the importance of the dominant players and the different times when they won the title. In terms of MVP-level players or future Hall of Famers, the Nuggets have Nikola Jokic. Hence, Karl’s theory about dominant players is applicable to his former team as well.
How Michael Malone And LBJ’s History Helped In The Start Of The Rivalry
The conference finals encounter was over in four games as the Nuggets won 4-0. Later, the encounter heated up more because of the history between Michael Malone, the Nuggets coach and LeBron James. Malone and James did not have a great time during the latter’s second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anyway, after the Nuggets blew the Lakers away in the last WCF, the fans called Malone “The Lakers Daddy.”
To which the Nuggets coach did not have much resentment. Since then, there have been certain rumors suggesting Michael Malone and the Nuggets players indirectly attacked the Lakers verbally. In reply, the Lakers coach and players seemed eager to even things out between them in the season opener. However, the Denver Nuggets won yet again. The Lakers lost to the Nuggets in the fifth straight game 107-119.