With LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers, it means he’ll come up against the Golden State Warriors on a more regular basis next season.
With the two teams featuring in the same Pacific Division, they’ll face off on four occasions in the regular season before a potential meeting in the playoffs too.
LeBron’s ultimate goal with the Lakers will be to win a championship and bring success back to the storied franchise.
He’s signed for four years and fans in LA will expect him to deliver the Larry O’Brien trophy during that time.
But the road to a title will have to go through Oakland as the Warriors won’t give up their crown easily.
Overcoming a juggernaut
They are creating a dynasty in the Bay Area and it’ll take something special to end their reign.
Dubs superstar Stephen Curry has warned LeBron and the Lakers that they’ll be ready for anything they throw at them.
“There’s a lot that’s been made about the competition in the West and his eight straight Finals appearances and all that, but that just makes everybody raise the antenna up a little bit—including us,” Curry told USA Today’s Sam Amick.
“It’s going to be fun for fans, playing [more] in the regular season and who knows in the playoffs. So the West obviously got stronger with LeBron but you’ve still got to beat us.”
With the two-time MVP leading the charge, Golden State has reached four straight NBA Finals and won three championships.
The 30-year-old doesn’t know what Los Angeles will look like as a team next year but he expects the arrival of James to have a major effect on the entire organisation.
“I don’t know what they’re going to be as a team, because obviously it’s brand new and they don’t have their identity,” he said.
“But at the end of the day they’ll come together with LeBron leading the charge.
“At the end of the day, he’s in a great market, he’s in a great city, he’s around a great organisation that has had a history of winning, he’s with [Lakers president of basketball operations] Magic [Johnson].
“It’s interesting for him to make a move.”
As well as the best player in the league, the purple and gold have added Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee to their roster.
Adding these veteran pieces to a talented young core of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma should make the team much more competitive next season.
But there’s still a chance that Magic and Rob Pelinka could make more moves in the offseason as they look to build a squad capable of challenging the best teams in the west and bringing a winning culture back.
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