MAGIC SAYS 'LAKERS ARE BACK' AFTER SUMMER-LEAGUE TITLE
It was always going to be an uphill climb since the Lakers have been mired in mediocrity for half a decade. But the organization took a positive step this offseason with a strong draft and having captured the Las Vegas Summer League title. That led the excitable Magic to get a bit ahead of himself during the victory speech on Monday night. "It feels good. When (general manager Rob Pelinka) and I took over, when Jeanie Buss hired us, we strive for excellence. We talked about doing things the right way, we talked about winning, and building a winning tradition. "It started with these young men tonight, winning the summer league. This has to carry over to our summer workouts, training camp, exhibition season, and then into next season. "The Lakers are back!" Magic exclaimed to the delight of the pro-Lakers crowd. he Lakers are off to strong start in the Magic-Pelinka era, but they're far from being back to their former glory. Los Angeles will likely be a lottery team yet again next season in a ruthlessly competitive Western conference, despite the bold predictions of LaVar Ball. But they will nevertheless be more watchable and more entertaining than in recent seasons with promising prospects Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram leading the charge. Fans and media alike are obsessed with every detail of Ball's game, which effectively makes him a superstar by virtue of the spotlight that follows him. That return to relevancy, more than anything else, is why the Lakers are back.