Lakers vs Nets: A new rivalry for the ages

Andrew Paredes, Sports Writer

The Milwaukee Bucks just won the NBA finals five weeks ago, but NBA fans are already looking forward to next season. This is especially true for fans of the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers who believe if healthy, they would have won this past year’s championship.

Ever since the Nets got James Harden in January, fan bases for both the Lakers and the Nets have been at war when it comes to who they think will win the championship. However, both teams did not get past the second round due to injuries and a weak supporting cast outside of both teams’ stars.

On Draft Night 2021, the Los Angeles Lakers shocked those around the league by trading Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harell and the 22nd pick for Russell Westbrook, a 2024 second round pick, and a 2028 second round pick building a superteam in LA with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook. This immediately made them the favorites to come out of the Western Conference and make the NBA Finals.

The other team favored to make it to the Finals? You guessed it: The Brooklyn Nets, who have Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Nets were the favorites to win last year and remain as the favorites to win this coming year.

Senior Micah Beard, a varsity basketball player, is a big fan of Kyrie Irving and is rooting for the Brooklyn Nets to win this year.

“I think the Nets are going to be great,” Beard said. “They have all the key parts that they need. I think that they will do a lot better in the playoffs this year now that they have everyone back and healthy.”

These teams have a lot of history. James and Durant have been compared to each other for almost their entire careers.

Harden and Westbrook are former teammates on two different teams who still remain best friends.

James and Irving, former teammates, have had a lot of tension since their split in 2017, when Irving requested a trade away from James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in order to have his own team.

Durant and Westbrook were former teammates and former best friends before Durant left Oklahoma City and Westbrook in 2016.

Maybe I am trying to create a narrative, but any NBA fan from five years ago would be shocked to hear about what has transpired since then. This potential matchup has a lot of history, and NBA fans from all fan bases are excited to see these teams in action this NBA season.