Carmelo Anthony, reinforcement of the Lakers.  AP Photo / Randall Benton

Following their fiasco last season, the Los Angeles Lakers have doubled down by surrounding LeBron James and Anthony Davis with an important group of illustrious veterans led by Russell Westbrook, in a risky play that raised doubts in the preseason.

At 36, time and the strength of the opponents play against LeBron James to conquer a fifth ring of champion that puts him in the antechamber of the six of his idol Michael Jordan.

The Rey James, along with the arrival of the dominant Anthony Davis, revolutionized Los Angeles by winning the 2020 championship but the illusion was deflated with the fall in the first round of the last tournament against the Phoenix Suns.

After suffering for injuries LeBron (ankle) and Davis (hamstring) who conspired against the team’s chances, the franchise decided to revolutionize the squad by keeping only its two stars and the promising shooting guard Talen Horton-Tucker, 20 years old.

The first measure was to get Russell Westbrook, a great figure with which to complete a new Big 3 in the NBA.

To general surprise in the league, the Los Angeles franchise sent three key pieces of its middle class – Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell – to Washington in exchange for Westbrook, a 32-year-old point guard whose style of play many were They ask if he can fit in with James and Davis. Those who do not discuss the hiring take refuge in that “the good guys can always play together” and that the point guard was MVP of the league in 2017.

Like the stellar cup trio almost all the salary limitIt was decided to attract experienced players to Los Angeles who, in exchange for a chance to fight for their first ring, accepted reduced salaries.

Carmelo Anthony (37 years old), DeAndre Jordan (33), Kent Bazemore (32) and Wayne Ellington (32) landed under this strategy, and the returns of Trevor Ariza (36), Dwight Howard (35) and Rajon Rondo ( 35).

When the new season starts on Tuesday, the Lakers will be, by far, the oldest team, with an average of almost 31 years (30.7) according to the RealGM site.

The precedents do not invalidate the experiment as Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd’s Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 ring with an average of 31.6 years and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls capped a title treble in 1998 topping 32.

These teams, however, had spent years building chemistry and automatisms, just what the Lakers have lacked in a preseason in which they lost their six games.

In the absence of results, voices come out from within the locker room that they ask for a little more trust and time to make this sum of talented individuals become a whole.

“It will take time for us to be the team that we can be. There will be times when we are not quite right, when we take steps back. That is part of the process … But as a leader I cannot allow myself to be frustrated,” he said. James to the chain ESPN.

“You can’t be long in this league without discipline. We have guys with mileage, but there must be a reason why they’re still playing,” said Rondo, one of the players who have been champions, like James, Davis, Howard. and Ariza.

On the other side are Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, two references from the last decade in the NBA that dream of crowning Careers full of individual awards.

“We have a lot of firepower, a lot of guys who are very motivated to make sure that we are going to win. We will have to put it all together throughout the season, but I think we have a good opportunity,” said the coach. Frank Vogel.

Carmelo Anthony, reinforcement of the Lakers. AP Photo / Randall Benton

That said, Russell Westbrook, runner-up in 2012 with the Oklahoma City Thunder, was the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the 2017 season and entered NBA history last season by breaking the triple-doubles record of the legendary Oscar Robertson.

Critics of his move to the Lakers, however, point out that Westbrook is too dependent on possession ball, which LeBron dominates in Los Angeles, and worst shooter and defender than the team demanded.

Libra, defender of the hiring of the Californian guard, appealed to irony in the face of the questions, which he believes will serve as an extra motivation.

“Keep talking about my team, the age of our players, how they play, that someone is still injured, that we have already served our time in the NBA, etc. Please: keep the same energy when it starts. what I ask, “wrote the forward on Twitter.

AFP.

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