After the Los Angeles Lakers failed to defend their 2020 championship when they lost in the first round to the Phoenix Suns in 2021, general manager Rob Pelinka stated the franchise’s aspirations in no uncertain terms.
“We have an insatiable desire and passion to bring banner No. 18 here,” Pelinka said at the time, referencing his team’s record-tying 17 NBA titles.
Turns out the Lakers will be hanging another banner at Crypto.com Arena to recognize winning the inaugural NBA in-season tournament in Las Vegas, but the team is making sure the NBA Cup victory won’t be confused with the ultimate goal of a championship.
The in-season tournament banner will have a different shape and color than the existing gold NBA championship banners that line the rafters. There will also be just one in-season tournament banner that the Lakers will use to honor their win in 2023 and any future years should they win the tournament again.
L.A. will unveil the banner at its next home game, Dec. 18 against the New York Knicks. It also will honor LeBron James and Anthony Davis for being named to the in-season all-tournament team that was announced Monday.
Davis averaged 23.3 points, 14.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.9 blocks while shooting 52.5% from the field through L.A.’s 7-0 showing. He was dominant in the clincher against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, finishing with 41 points on 16-for-24 shooting, 20 rebounds and four blocks.
James averaged 26.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.6 steals while shooting 56.8% from the field and 60.6% from 3 and was named the in-season tournament MVP.
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