Lakers Unveil Banner for LeBron James and Co’s 1st Ever In-Season Glory

Published 12/18/2023, 10:49 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Returning home, the Los Angeles Lakers face off against the New York Knicks after experiencing a bumpy stretch. LeBron James and co. come losing two of their last three games. Their only win came in lucky, as it could have leaned in either direction. When the Lakers registered an undefeated record in the In-Season Tournament, they aimed to maintain the momentum in the regular season. However, it appears that their tournament energy had taken a nosedive.

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Regardless, Lakers fans had one last opportunity to celebrate the historic achievement of winning the first-ever IST title in NBA history. Furthermore, it will also be the only time in nearly a week that they will play at home before Christmas.

Lakers reveal first-ever IST banner for LeBron James and co.

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Proudly holding the distinction of being the inaugural In-Season Tournament champions, the Los Angeles Lakers added another accolade to their collection by raising the banner in the rafters of the Crypto.com Arena just before their matchup against the New York Knicks.

Distinguished from the traditional championship banners, the In-Season Tournament banner for the Los Angeles Lakers is designed to stand out, clearly marking its unique distinction.

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Tied with the Boston Celtics for the most NBA championships ever, both boasting 17 titles, the Lakers now hold the advantage in being the most decorated franchise in NBA history with the addition of the In-Season banner in the rafters, further solidifying their position of superiority.

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Charles Barkley hates the idea of a banner

To enhance the importance of the tournament, the NBA encouraged teams to take the In-Season Tournament seriously. This led LeBron James to guide the Lakers to a unique path. Following the Lakers’ victory in securing the NBA Cup, the team announced the decision to hang a banner in their arena. Despite fans praising the competition level in the tournament, they blasted the franchise with scrutiny for their choice.

Even Charles Barkley expressed reservations about the Lakers’ decision, going so far as to threaten to roast the team on television, saying, “If they put that In-Season Tournament banner up, I’m going to roast them on television.” Furthermore, he also disapproved of their use of champagne to celebrate the victory. “You don’t do champagne for the In-Season Tournament.”

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While the IST may not carry the same weight as an NBA championship, it introduces something new to the league. With recent success, it is likely to reappear in the next season, potentially with improvements. Interestingly, the champagne seen with LeBron James was supplied by the NBA itself.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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“Places you go in life – it opens your eyes up and you kind of understand who you are.” - This is my philosophy in life. I want to go to innumerable places and get inspired by the people and experiences I come across, just like Dwayne Wade.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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