NBA Preview: Retooled Lakers primed for repeat

While the burden on a defending NBA champion his heavy, the Los Angeles Lakers have retooled and are again the odds-on favorite to retain their basketball title. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are two big reasons why.



December 23, 2020 - 10:07 AM

Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James, left, and Anthony Davis celebrate in the closing seconds against the Miami Heat as the Lakers win the NBA Championship in Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals. Photo by Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / TNS

The championship rings that the Lakers will receive on opening night Tuesday are a token of what the team accomplished last season during an NBA season unlike any other.

Though the ceremony will be a reminder about the Lakers’ past, there’s symbolism in them receiving their rings on the season’s first night. It’s a reminder to the other 29 teams in the league whom they’re fighting in the season to come.

The burden can be heavy for the champion. Only a dozen teams have been able to successfully defend the crown since the 1968-69 season, when the Boston Celtics’ dynasty was temporarily derailed.

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