After making drastic changes to the Los Angeles Lakers' roster this offseason, general manager Rob Pelinka stressed expectations will be high entering 2019-20.

The most notable change comes with the addition of Anthony Davis, who the Lakers acquired in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram.

When free agency started, the Lakers were in the running to land Kawhi Leonard. 

But when the NBA Finals MVP opted to sign with cross-town rivals the Clippers, the Lakers filled out their roster by adding DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook and Avery Bradley. They also re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and JaVale McGee.

With the upgraded roster, Pelinka said on Friday the Lakers need to win a 2020 NBA title in order to consider the season successful. 

"For us anything short of a championship is not success," he said on a conference call, via the Los Angeles Times.

Pelinka also revealed he relied on input from James and Davis to help make decisions on filling out the Lakers' roster.

"We view our relationships here with our star players as partnerships," Pelinka told reporters.

"I know both Anthony and LeBron are excited about the 14 guys and how we're going to come together. Both of their input has been incredibly valuable to me."

Pelinka's comments come just a couple months after the Lakers finished 10th in the Western Conference with a 37-45 record, missing the playoffs for the sixth season in a row.

LeBron James marked a new Los Angeles Lakers era on Sunday night with a ceremonial passing of his number to new team-mate Anthony Davis. 

Lakers star James posted a picture on Instagram of the pair holding a Lakers number 23 jersey with Davis' name on the back, with the accompanying caption reading, "Officially a Laker!!"

Davis has worn 23 throughout his seven-year career with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Not only had James indicated that he might give up his Lakers number for his new colleague, but he also hinted previously at what number he might wear beginning in the 2019-20 season.

Some 10 days before the Davis deal officially became a reality, James tweeted a tiny number six with a praying-hands emoji.

James wore 23 for most of his career, including two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and his first season with the Lakers. 

However, he wore six in his four seasons with the Miami Heat and often does so in Lakers practices too. 

What we do know with relative certainty is that James will not wear the 11 Lakers numbers that have been retired: eight and 24 (Kobe Bryant), 13 (Wilt Chamberlain), 22 (Elgin Baylor), 25 (Gail Goodrich), 32 (Magic Johnson), 33 (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), 34 (Shaquille O'Neal), 42 (James Worthy), 44 (Jerry West) and 52 (Jamaal Wilkes).

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka described the acquisition of All-Star Anthony Davis as "a historic moment" for the NBA franchise.

The Lakers officially announced the arrival of Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, providing LeBron James with star support.

Los Angeles dealt Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, the draft rights to De'Andre Hunter, two first round picks, a first-round pick swap right and cash in exchange for six-time All-Star Davis.

"Anthony Davis is arguably the most dominant all-around young player in today's NBA," said Pelinka.

"Anthony represents everything we stand for, with his unwavering commitment to excellence as both a person and athlete.

"This is a historic moment for the Lakers franchise, and we couldn't be more proud to have him."

Davis has averaged 23.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 assists over his seven-year career in the NBA, while the 26-year-old averaged 25.9 points, 12 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.4 blocks for the Pelicans last season.

The Lakers missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season despite the arrival of James in 2018-19.

An injury to James on Christmas Day derailed the Lakers, who finished 10th in the Western Conference with a 37-45 record.

The NBA is going to look quite different in 2019-20.

After leading the Toronto Raptors to their first title, Kawhi Leonard will reportedly team up with Paul George at the Los Angeles Clippers next season.

It is a move that will reignite the rivalry with a much-changed Los Angeles Lakers, while the Golden State Warriors have seen Kevin Durant jump ship and move to the Eastern Conference.

We look at the teams with a 'big two' following a series of movements in an incredible offseason.

 

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

It was a big surprise when the Clippers took defending champions the Warriors to Game 6 in the playoffs, but they will undoubtedly be a better team next season.

The additions of Leonard and six-time All-Star George – although the latter came at a high price that included sending Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and five first-round draft picks, four of which are unprotected, and two pick swaps to the Oklahoma City Thunder – have created a new force in the Western Conference that will be looking to contend straight away.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Despite finally pulling off the acquisition of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers freed up enough cap space for a run at Leonard.

However, they were unable to seal a deal with the NBA Finals MVP and will instead look to improve on LeBron James' disappointing first season by forming a truly formidable duo with Davis.

BROOKLYN NETS

Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but it did not lead to a reduction in interest in the Warriors star.

The 2014 MVP decided to end his time at Golden State and team up with Kyrie Irving at the Brooklyn Nets, who consequently captured two of the three biggest free agents on the market to step up their rebuild several notches.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

It looked as though the Warriors would dominate again when they signed DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal in the last offseason, despite the center being sidelined by an Achilles injury.

Cousins has not returned and with Durant out the door, Golden State will be relying on the backcourt tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – reportedly on a five-year max contract – though trading for D'Angelo Russell could lighten the load.

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Having lost out to the Miami Heat in their reported pursuit of Jimmy Butler, the Rockets will go again with James Harden and Chris Paul leading the charge.

General manager Daryl Morey rejected reports of a rift between Harden and Paul, though he will be keen for the team to start winning as early as possible following a sluggish start in 2018-19.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

The Blazers made a stunning run to the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the Warriors.

They will hope to go one better after tying Damian Lillard down to a four-year contract extension in the offseason, ensuring his partnership with fellow sharpshooter CJ McCollum will continue.

Los Angeles is set for a blockbuster NBA rivalry next season after Kawhi Leonard reportedly agree to sign on for the Clippers.

With Paul George also said to be joining from the Oklahoma City Thunder, an exciting Clippers team is set to go head-to-head against a Los Angeles Lakers franchise fronted by NBA icon LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Leonard, who spearheaded the Toronto Raptors to a maiden championship last season, is a signing who can make the Clippers – who finished eighth in the Western Conference in 2018-19 – a real force to be reckoned with.

In July 2018, it was the Lakers making waves when they drafted in superstar James from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There is now some real star power across both Los Angeles teams, and inspired by this, we have taken a look at times when cross-city rivalries sent the sporting world into a frenzy.

 

Manchester City v Manchester United

For a long time, Manchester City lived in Manchester United's shadow, suffering multiple relegations while their rivals won a treble and dominated the domestic game under Alex Ferguson's tutelage. Things changed in 2008, however, when City were bought by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, owner of the Abu Dhabi United Group, and they have since gone on to become much more than the "noisy neighbours" that Ferguson dubbed them in 2009.

The pendulum did not swing fully in City's favour until the last day of the 2011-12, when they clinched their first Premier League title in the most dramatic of circumstances. Sergio Aguero's last-gasp goal in a 3-2 win against QPR is the thing of folklore, the Argentina striker scoring after Edin Dzeko had already levelled the scores in stoppage time. It denied Ferguson's United, who thought they had the job done having won at Sunderland until news of City's sensational finale filtered through.

United got their revenge the following season, but since Ferguson left, the Red Devils have hardly come close to keeping pace with City.

Rabbitohs v Roosters

The oldest and fiercest rivalry in the NRL is between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters.

Their rivalry escalated in the 1990s when the increased financial standing of the Roosters came in stark contrast to the lack of funds available to the Rabbitohs, who broke a 10-year, 13-game losing streak against their nemesis in 2005.

In the last regular-season rounds of 2013 and 2014, the Roosters came out on top against their rivals to claim the Minor Premiership, though the Rabbitohs won in the preliminary final in the latter campaign to reach their first grand final in 43 years. Four years later, the Roosters defeated Souths 12-4 in the preliminary final at Allianz Stadium, in front of a record crowd.

Mets v Yankees 

In 2000, the New York Mets and New York Yankees met in the Major League Baseball World Series - the first time two teams from the Big Apple had met in the showpiece since 1956.

Referred to as the "Subway Series", it was the Yankees who came out on top with a dominant 4-1 series win, despite having lost 15 of their last 18 regular season games.

It was a third successive World Series triumph for the Yankees, who also made it to the same stage in 2001, but lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The rivals have not met in a World Series since, and it took the Mets another 15 years to make it back to the big stage.

UCLA v USC

One of the biggest college football rivalries comes in the form of the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans.

The most famous encounter between the two universities came in 1967, in a match known as "the game of the century." It matched USC - with OJ Simpson - against a UCLA side including Gary Beban, with the Conference Championship on the line, while Simpson and Beban were competing for the Heisman Trophy.

It was USC who ran out victorious in a 21-20 victory and they went on to defeat Indiana in the Rose Bowl and win the National Championship. Beban claimed the Heisman Trophy, despite Simpson's notable performance in the encounter and 1,543 rushing yards over the season.

Boca Juniors v River Plate

One of the most famous and fierce local rivalries in football, or indeed any sport, the Superclasico is an incredible Buenos Aires derby between Argentina's two biggest clubs - Boca Juniors and River Plate.

In 2018, both sides progressed to the final of the Copa Libertadores, making it the first Superclasico final of an international competition. It was a two-legged encounter with one match to be played at each ground.

Tensions were high, and after a 2-2 draw in the first leg at Boca's home Estadio Alberto J. Armando, they boiled over in dramatic and violent fashion prior to the second leg at El Monumental, with the match eventually called off after the Boca coach was attacked en route to the stadium.

After much controversy, the second leg finally took place at Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, with River winning 3-1 to secure a 5-2 aggregate victory and their fourth Copa Libertadores title.

Team LeBron took home a victory in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, beating Team Giannis 178-164 on Sunday. 

LeBron James has expressed his full support for Colin Kaepernick, after the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback settled his collusion case against the NFL. 

The 2019 All-Star Game is almost here.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo completed the draft last week. James selected Kevin Durant with his top choice and Antetokounmpo followed by picking Stephen Curry.

Three of James' first four picks were impending free agents while Antetokounmpo chose multiple first-time All-Stars.

The game will be played at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday. Here are some Opta numbers to know about the matchup.

 

Complete rosters

Team LeBron: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, LaMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns, Bradley Beal, Dwyane Wade.
Team Giannis: Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Paul George, Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, D'Angelo Russell, Nikola Vucevic, Kyle Lowry, Dirk Nowitzki.

Team comparison (Team LeBron-Team Giannis)

Combined All-Star appearances: (81-52)
Combined points: (15,923-14,326)
Combined rebounds: (4,783-5,159)
Combined assists: (3,360-3,681)
Field goals attempted: (11,681-10,881)
Field goals made: (5,703-5,116)
Three-pointers attempted: (3,694-3,829)
Three-pointers made: (1,409-1,394)

– James will be playing in his 15th All-Star game. He will tie Kobe Bryant and former San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan for the second most appearances in NBA history.

– James will enter Sunday's contest with 343 All-Star game points. That is already the most by any player. He also holds the record for most field goals made and attempted.

– Dwyane Wade needs three steals to become just the fourth player ever to tally 30 or more in their All-Star careers. Bryant, Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas are the only three others to reach that mark.

– The players with the top six individual scoring averages in All-Star history will appear in the game on Sunday. They are: James (24.5), New Orleans Pelicans forward Davis (24.5), Oklahoma City Thunder guard Westbrook (24.4), Golden State Warriors forward Durant (24.3), Detroit Pistons forward Griffin (21.8) and Thunder forward George (20.8).

– James was also a captain in last year's game, which was the first that did not feature the East against West format. He scored 29 points to lead his squad to a 148-145 victory over Team Curry. The 293 combined points were the fewest since the 2013 game.

– Warriors sharpshooter Curry has made just 33.9 per cent of his three-point attempts in All-Star games. Celtics guard Irving is fourth all-time in that category at 48.4 per cent.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram appeared to shrug off the chants he heard on Tuesday. 

Danny Ainge wonders about the motive behind LeBron James' recent "greatest of all time" comments and has suggested he is "taking the Donald Trump approach".

The Boston Celtics general manager appeared on The Toucher And Rich Show on Thursday and he offered his thoughts on James' declaration that he was the 'GOAT'.

James called himself the greatest of all time when discussing the Cleveland Cavaliers' 2016 performance in the NBA Finals. Cleveland were down 3-1 in the series against the Golden State Warriors but the Cavs rallied to win the title.

"His career's not over," Ainge said. "I'd just like to [know] why he's saying that? I don't know. Maybe he thinks that that sells. Maybe he's taking the Donald Trump approach and trying to sell himself. I don't know."

Ainge added: "Obviously LeBron is in every conversation with who is the greatest player of all time.

"But time will tell. I don't know if anyone knows who the greatest of all time is, because the years are so different."

One thing James' declaration did was further fuel the Michael Jordan comparisons, which have been going on for years.

Despite the Trump comparisons, Ainge did offer an olive branch of sorts — he said James is better than Larry Bird, who is Ainge's former Celtics team-mate.

"LeBron went to the Finals," Ainge said. "I would have to say [he is better than Bird], just because he was able to have more durability and play at a top level of his game for longer."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James leapfrogged Dirk Nowitzki for sixth position on the NBA's all-time scoring list. 

LeBron James made his home debut at Staples Center but it did not go according to plan after the Los Angeles Lakers lost a feisty game against the Houston Rockets. 

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are slated to take on Stephen Curry and the defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.

LeBron James' decision to leave the Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers has left Cleveland hurt but not bitter, according to general manager Koby Altman. 

The Golden State Warriors are not sitting on past success, they are not comfortable staying in neutral, and they certainly will not let a certain in-state team hog all the spotlight this offseason. 

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