You can make a case that the 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers are the most interesting version of the team this decade. The team hasn’t exactly been in the spotlight since Kobe Bryant’s final game back in 2016, and while the Lakers squad at the start of the decade lifted a championship, this year’s version of the purple and gold are absolutely fascinating, as they mix LeBron James, a group of temperamental veterans, and a talented young core.
This doesn’t necessarily mean this season will end in a championship — the Golden State Warriors still, you know, exist — but expectations are still higher than they’ve been in years. This isn’t just the case among fans and some members of the media, but for one player, this season is championship-or-bust.
That someone is Lonzo Ball, who spoke to Kristen Ledlow of TNT before the Lakers’ season tips off in Portland on Thursday night and made it clear the team’s goal is to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy during the first year of the LABron era.