A lot of new faces with the Lakers this time, but they're all looking forward to the coming season. (Elisa Hernandez/Living Out Loud LA)
During the summer, ESPN critics projected the Lakers finishing 12th in the Western Conference. The Lakers, though, find themselves with an opportunity to prove that wrong.
“The expectations are down. Obviously, we have some question marks and that’s why [ESPN] put us down at 12th,” said Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni. “It doesn’t really affect what we do. Our mind is to overachieve.”
Nick Young, a Los Angeles-native and former USC Trojan, is excited to play with his idol in Kobe Bryant. He has taken the criticism as “motivation in itself” to prove that the Laker should not be underestimated.
Jordan Farmar, who took a pay cut in order to be a Laker, believes there’s no pressure in his one-year contract to prove he deserves to return in a Laker uniform next year. He looks forward to the opportunity to help the Lakers be a difficult opponent in the west.
“I think we will be a lot better than what a lot of people give us credit for early on,” said Farmar. “That’s our responsibility, to go out and show that.”
Chris Kaman, who signed a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum, is excited to wear the purple and gold. He feels that sooner or later, the team will come together.
“I feel good. I’m a little rusty obviously with shooting the ball in game situations, but that’s gonna come,” he said. “I think as the preseason progresses forward and getting to the regular season, I think we should see improvement from everybody.”
Bryant is used to seeing guys come and go, and the expectations he has for every single one of his teammates is to have a championship mentality.
“Our expectations are always the same with every single season,” said Bryant. “That’s to improve every single day with the mindset to win a championship. That’s the goal we have to have. The only way you can do that is coming out every single day working, understanding each other and supporting each other.”