The Los Angeles Lakers‘ busy offseason has created significant hype around the franchise as NBA title favorites. LeBron James is no stranger to high expectations, even as he enters his 19th season. The Lakers‘ revamped roster has led one of Michael Jordan’s former teammates to make a bold claim that will bother the former Chicago Bulls star.
Lakers revamp the roster around LeBron James
After falling to an early playoff exit, the Lakers spent the offseason restructuring the roster.
General manager Rob Pelinka first acquired former league MVP Russell Westbrook to offset James and Anthony Davis’ offensive workload. Despite possessing limited salary cap space, the Lakers inked several proven players, such as Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, Rajon Rondo, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, DeAndre Jordan, and Malik Monk on veteran’s minimum deals.
Los Angeles also signed Kendrick Nunn to a two-year, $10 million deal while retaining Talen Horton-Tucker on a three-year, $30.7 million contract. All that built growing hype around the franchise, leading one of Jordan’s former teammates to make a bold statement that may bother the former Bulls star.
Michael Jordan’s ex-teammate delivers bold stance about LeBron James that the former Bulls star won’t like
The Lakers’ busy offseason has pinned the franchise as one of the heavy NBA title favorites next season.
Former veteran big man John Salley appears to have jumped on the hype around Los Angeles. Salley, who played 33 games with the Bulls in the 1996-97 season, voiced that he believes the LeBron James‘ led squad has the opportunity to top Michael Jordan’s 1995-1996 Bulls as the greatest team in league history.
“Their thing should be ‘hey fellas, we gotta win 74 games,” said Salley during a recent interview with VLAD TV. “Then they go down in history. They’re better than the Golden State Warriors, better than the Chicago Bulls 1996, greatest team ever.
“The problem with the Warriors is they won 73 games but they lost in the Championship to LeBron. If these guys do the same thing, 73 wins, 74 wins, out of 82, and you win the Championship, it’d be the greatest team of All-Time.”
The Golden State Warriors set the all-time mark with 73 regular-season wins in the 2015-16 campaign. However, the Warriors fell disappointingly to the Cleveland Cavaliers after holding a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals. Golden State had the prime opportunity to secure that prestigious recognition but let it slip through their fingertips.
Meanwhile, the 1995-96 Bulls steamrolled through the regular season with a 72-10 record. Jordan then guided the Bulls to a 15-3 playoff record to secure the NBA title. Although the Lakers possess the chance to vie for that incredible feat, the team is likely only looking to secure the best possible record while not physically overbearing their veteran-laden group of talent.
Keep in mind, LeBron James is entering his 19th season while the team has the league’s oldest roster. If the opportunity is there, the Lakers won’t shy away from vying for the regular-season record, but the end goal remains purely focused on winning a championship.
Lakers are focused on contending for an NBA title
The chance to top Jordan in the record books will be another notch under James‘ belt, but championships define his legacy.
The 36-year-old may never become the clear-cut GOAT in many eyes, but his resume will speak for itself. He holds a unique opportunity to add a fifth NBA title in what would be his 11th Finals appearance.
James’ NBA career remains an open book, where he can add other prestigious marks, such as becoming the league’s all-time leading scorer. Ultimately, his focus sits directed on guiding the Lakers toward adding an 18th championship.