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The Los Angeles Lakers have high expectations this season given the additions to the roster.
With notable stars and veterans Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza and more joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have to make a championship run this season.
Most of the players L.A. signed are on one-year deals, and since the James and Davis championship window isn’t as wide open anymore, Los Angeles has to capitalize on winning this year.
Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is on the same page. O’Neal appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” hosted by Stephen A. Smith and explained why:
.@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
“The great Carmelo Anthony was absolutely correct. … When it comes to the most 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. … If both teams stay healthy, I would like to see those teams in the finals. I like Carmelo, he was raised by us. Westbrook was raised by us. LeBron was raised by us. So you know when they get angry, they play very well. So now they’re angry, everyone’s doubting them, they built this little superteam, Carmelo Anthony is correct. It’s championship or bust.”
As O’Neal mentioned, staying healthy is the most crucial part for L.A. if it hopes to win a title. Injuries completely derailed the Lakers’ 2020-21 campaign, and the team cannot afford for that to happen again.