When a team wins an NBA Championship and not only returns their core intact, but adds essential role players through free agency, they would generally be considered favorites to win again, right? After all, they were the best team in the NBA in 2010, and they've only gotten better.
If you listen to not only the talking heads at ESPN, but right here on Bleacher Report, you might forget that the Lakers even won last year.
There's no reason to go into what happened this past summer, the world knows it. I'm not even going to break down the matchups between the Heat and Lakers. People who read my last article know exactly where I stand on that.
I'm writing this for one reason: Laker fans are bitter. As a Laker fan, I am bitter.
Most Laker fans are very confident that their team will prevail in a fabled Finals clash between LA and Miami. No, Lakers fans feel disrespected.
And they have every right to.
Seemingly within minutes of LeBron's "Decision," the Heat were installed as favorites to win the NBA Title.
They were installed as favorites when they only had six players on their roster.
Think about that for a minute. They had no established starting center and no depth on their bench, save Udonis Haslem, and they were put down as favorites.
This sickened me, as I'm sure it did other Lakers fans. A brand new team that doesn't even have a full roster, let alone experience and chemistry, is favored over the champion Lakers, who have repeatedly proven themselves?
Speaking as a die-hard Laker fan, I want more than anything for LA to win their first regular season game by 20, just to shut people up.
Miami has not won anything. They have never played a game together. They do not have established chemistry together.
They should not be the favorites.
To be fair, Dwyane Wade made it clear that the Lakers are still the team to beat, and I respect him for that.
It's the now-rabid Miami Heat fans that need to wake up to reality.
The Lakers are the defending champions. The Lakers have the best player in the NBA. The Lakers have the best coach in the NBA. The Lakers have experience and chemistry. The Lakers as a team know what it takes to win a title.
Only one-third of Miami's core can claim that much.
Sorry Heat fans, but the road to the NBA title still goes through LA. As long as Kobe is around, you'd better get used to it.
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