The Los Angeles Lakers have an argument to be considered the team of the 1980s. The Lakers were absolutely dominant during the decade, making the NBA Finals 8 times between 1980 to 1989.
The Showtime Lakers are considered one of the greatest teams of all time. And a look into their practice sessions shows just how one of the best teams ever prepared themselves to take on the rest of the NBA.
Some footage of the 1983 Los Angeles Lakers taking part in a shoot-around surfaced on the internet recently. The footage includes some absolute legends like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and even a rookie James Worthy.
The players ran at practice before begging a competitive shooting drill that actually got a little heated as both teams felt that they had won. Even at practice, every player on the Lakers wanted to win.
NBA fans had a polarizing reaction to this footage. There were fans that appreciated the chance to see this footage and get a proper insight into one of the best teams in NBA history. Whereas other fans were critical about the shooting they saw from the Lakers, arguing that this footage proves that these players would not be able to find success in the modern NBA as so many analysts and former players claim.
As good as the Lakers were in 1983, they were not able to end the season with a championship, as they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers thanks to excellent performances from Julius Erving and Moses Malone.
But the Lakers bounced back in 1985, after another loss in 1984 to the Celtics, to win the NBA championship. Magic Johnson recently shouted out his teammates and head coach Pat Riley for the success they had, noting how driven and motivated everyone on the Showtime squad was.
The Lakers were clearly very competitive, even amongst themselves. But that is what allowed them to be as great as they were. The team never settled for less, and always wanted to be victorious. And it yielded a lot of positive results, as the Lakers won multiple NBA championships in the 80s.