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Gary Payton Shuts Down Comparisons Between 2022 Lakers And The 2004 Lakers: "I Think We Were In Our Prime, A Lot Of Us Was Way More In Our Prime Than They Were.”

Gary Payton Shuts Down Comparisons Between LeBron James' Lakers And The 2004 Superteam: "I Think We Were In Our Prime, A Lot Of Us Was Way More In Our Prime Than They Were.”

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history and have boasted incredible teams during that time. The Showtime Lakers, the Kobe-Shaq tandem, Kobe with Pau Gasol, a number of teams come to mind when talking about the best teams ever assembled by the franchise. 

However, the one time they tried to make an actual superteam in 2004 didn't work entirely too well. Following the 2002-03 season when they failed to win their 4th consecutive championship, the Lakers added Hall of Famers Gary Payton and Karl Malone in a bid to win another championship. It didn't go exactly to plan, with the quartet failing to gel and resulting in the team being broken up the very next season. 

This season, the Lakers added legendary NBA names to their roster again with Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard all joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles. This immediately drew comparisons to the 2004 team, with these new stars all being well past how good they were in their prime. 

And Payton addressed these comparisons in conversation with Draymond Green on the Draymond Green show, claiming that the two teams aren't the same because Kobe and Shaq were still in their primes in 2004. The Glove shared his view that the 04 team was much more in their prime than the current group. 

“I don’t think this team that the Lakers got are nothing like us. I think we were in our prime a lot of us was way more in our prime than they were.”

The Lakers failed to win a championship in 2004, although they did end up going all the way to the NBA finals. Following their failure though, GP was immediately traded to the Boston Celtics and Malone retired. The current team still have a chance to prove their doubters wrong and win a ring, but with a 20-19 record, they have a long road ahead of them.