"He's arguably the best player to ever play the game, and it's very humbling. I have never been more excited to play with a certain player in a very long time."
Obviously, NBA Media day is nothing new for most of the guys in the Laker locker room. Usually, it's a time of optimism, excitement, and preparation for a brand new season.
This time around, while a lot of those feelings were in the air, there was a different feeling for these new-look Lakers. Was it confidence? Swagger? Pressure? Whatever it was, it whispered that the 2018/19 Los Angeles Lakers might be on the verge of something really special.
All summer long, a sense of desperation loomed over the franchise. Their culture of winning has been threatened the past few years, with the team posting a record-breaking 284 losses in the past 5 seasons. It's been nothing short of a nightmare for the Lakeshow.
Finally, with the hire of Magic Johnson, came the start of a dramatic turnaround, one that lead to the team signing the best player in basketball (and, arguably, the best player of All-Time). Though, even with the summer they had, the doubts never stopped pouring in.
Even this season, people are questioning whether or not the Lakers are as good as they'd have us believe.
They point out LeBron's old age, they point out Lonzo's ineffective 3-point game, they point out Ingram's size and Kuzma's youth, they rack up whatever reasons they can to explain why the Lakers are a bust waiting to happen.
But even at 33-years-old, LeBron James is enough to make any team "great again."
And even with a broken jumper, and a crazy, out-of-control Dad, Lonzo Ball in year two is enough to give any team reason for hope.
And even for a guy who desperately needs a cheeseburger (or three), Brandon Ingram and his offensive talents are enough to solidify the future of any team who believes in him.
And even for a dude who has so much left to prove on the court, Kyle Kuzma is enough to provide any team the spark it needs to grind through a long, unforgiving season.
The sum of guys like Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo, and Lance Stephenson are enough to grind any team to submission.
Yeah, you get the point.
This Laker team is no traditional contender, that is true. They are definitely far from being a well-oiled, no-nonsense type of roster, that is also true. Reality is what it is.
But as Rondo helped to point out on Monday afternoon, they are ready to buy in. They have LeBron James, they have talented young stars that are getting better by the day, and they have a slew of veterans who are itching to overachieve in the role they have been given.
They have enough.
So, no matter your feelings about the Purple-and-Gold, don't think for a second that they'll be giving in to anyone this season.
They might not win the Championship, and they're probably not the favorites, but you can bet that they'll be right there competing for one. And for a team that was fighting for the lottery just a while ago, what more can you ask?