The Los Angeles Lakers unveiled their new-look lineup at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, but the Dallas Mavericks were there to spoil their debut. On paper, most fans, analysts and so-called experts expect the Lakers to run away with the Western Conference once their core of superstars begins to mesh. Mark Cuban, who has been quick to remind people that championships are not won on paper, hopes that won’t be the case.
“I don’t know, I don’t care, I just hope they suck,” Cuban said when asked for his take on the Lakers before Tuesday’s game. “You know, like any other team.”
This is the same guy who hoped his own country sucked in the Olympics, so we’re not surprised. Cuban praised the Lakers talent level but also noted that talent doesn’t mean a thing without chemistry.
“Obviously Nash is great. He’s phenomenal, Dwight’s phenomenal, Kobe … but it takes a team,” he continued. “They’ve got to come together and play as a team. Hopefully, they won’t figure it out tonight.”
They did not. The Lakers got out to a hot start and scored 29 points in the first quarter, but their offense sputtered from there while the Mavericks remained consistent. Does that mean L.A. isn’t as good of a team as we thought it would be? Hardly, but it is important for fans to remember that not all “Super Teams” win a championship in their first season together like the Celtics did in 2007. The concern with the Lakers is obviously age. They may need some time to figure things out, but guys like Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant don’t have a ton of that.