The Los Angeles Lakers are winners of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament.
Their players are $500,000 richer, and they will now officially play 83 regular-season games this year.
Some fans have debated whether the Lakers should raise a banner about this or not.
With that in mind, Shams Charania asked Lakers guard Austin Reaves his thoughts on the matter (Via “Run It Back” and ClutchPoints).
Reaves tried to be as politically correct as possible, stating that it’s the first time someone has won that title, so perhaps there could be a banner.
However, he let his true thoughts on the championship show when he said that he hopes they can win a “real” championship at the end of the season and raise that banner.
“The Lakers are so used to winning championships… hopefully we can raise like a real championship banner this year.”
Austin Reaves on an In-Season Tournament championship banner being hung up at Crypto Arena 🗣
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) December 11, 2023
Truth be told, the Lakers are too big of a team and too storied of a franchise to celebrate In-Season Tournament wins.
No disrespect whatsoever, but we’re talking about a seven-game tournament that featured group-stage matchups with the Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers.
Of course, a team like the Lakers should strive to win everything and they do deserve credit for the win, but raising that banner next to your 17 actual NBA championships seems a bit watered down.
Few will remember who won this year’s In-Season Tournament, but everybody will remember who hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.
Also, winning this tournament and falling short in the playoffs will only lead to mockery, criticism, and countless memes, and the Lakers are well aware of that.