Plead with the universe desperately enough and it will answer, but it doesn’t always give you the outcome you imagined. This much is true in life as it is in basketball, and divine intervention has come at last for all the clamoring, desperate fans who have been begging for an answer to the Golden State Warriors. But I hope a lot of first-borns were not promised in return, because that answer ended up being the Los Angeles Lakers.
As an antithesis to the Warriors, the new-look Lakers are, well, perfect. Not in skill, mind you, but in every other way they will approach this season. The Warriors have gone beyond behemoth at this point. The way they continue to add stars season after season has made them into a kind of post-Goliath, a prototype that’s eclipsed the traditional super team. So long as even a fraction of them stay healthy, there’s no way to stop them, not by skill at least.
So, send in the clowns.
This year’s Lakers are poised to do something not seen in the league … maybe ever? They are, by virtue of just being themselves, creating a league-wide, singular focus on fun. Yes, the Warriors are phenomenal, but they are boring as hell. It’s what makes them so easy to hate. Collectively, they have the charisma of a scouring sponge. As fans, we have grown spoiled. Never has there been an era in basketball when even the most tenuously contracted NBA player has been so skilled and athletically gifted. We don’t want talent anymore, or to watch basketball at a caliber previously unimaginable night after night. We want antics.