With 11 players on their roster above the age of 32, the Los Angeles Lakers have been receiving a lot of trolls for being an “old team”. Former Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal comes to LeBron James and co.’s. defence, calling them well-experienced.
The Los Angeles Lakers had their most unexpected year this past 2020-2021 season. The 2020 NBA champions were strong title-contenders starting the campaign. However, due to the superstars – LeBron James and Anthony Davis, being sidelined with gruesome injuries, the Lakers tumbled down in the standings. After barely making the postseason, LeBron and co. were handed a first-round playoffs exit by none other than his very own “Banana Boat” buddy – Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns.
As expected, LAL made quite a few changes on their roster this offseason. Apart from acquiring 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster sign-and-trade deal, the front office even managed to add veterans Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, Deandre Jordan, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore and Rajon Rondo on the squad.
With all the new signings, there are currently 11 players on the roster who are above the age of 32, with Carmelo Anthony being the oldest of the pack at 37. While the team is full of veterans with tons of experience, they do lack youthfulness on the squad.
While several trolls have been terming the 2020 NBA Champs as an “old team”, which they are, there have been several analysts like Kendrick Perkins and former legends like Metta World Peace among many others who have their faith in the LeBron-led team.
“The Los Angeles Lakers have the most experience when it comes to age”: Shaquille O’Neal on the LeBron James-led team
Shaquille O’Neal is the recent-most to defend the Lakers from being called an “old team”. In his recent appearance on “First Take”, Shaq disclosed how the team may be old but were surely the most experienced.
“A lot of people always talk about age,” said Shaq. “But show me a young team that dominates. Listen, young teams always make noise, but when they get to the playoffs what do you always say? ‘Oh, they don’t have enough experience.’
The Brooklyn Nets and the Lakers have the most experience when it comes to age. I’m not worried about all that young talk.”
“You know when they get angry, they play really well. So now they’re angry, everybody’s doubting them. They’ve built this little super team now and yes Carmelo Anthony is correct, it’s a championship or bust for them.”
.@SHAQ says it’s championship or bust for the Lakers.
“The great Carmelo Anthony was absolutely correct. … The Brooklyn Nets and the Lakers have the most experience when it comes to age. I’m not worried about all that young talk.” pic.twitter.com/MwFB02sZ2i
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 15, 2021
King James has been ageing like fine wine. Even in his 18th season, he was putting up MVP type numbers before an injury sidelined him for 27 games. Russell Westbrook is coming off his fourth season where he averaged a triple-double. Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza are all very experienced role players who add a lot of depth to this star-studded team.
Sure, the Lakers do have a team full of “old” players. However, they are easily one of the early favourites to lift the 2022 NBA Championship, that every team will dread matching up against.