Conflicting reports emerge on Lakers’ plans for banner if they win In-Season Tournament

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There are conflicting reports about what the Los Angeles Lakers would do regarding a potential banner if they were to win the NBA’s In-Season Tournament on Saturday night.

The Lakers advanced to the championship game of the In-Season Tournament after dominating the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night. The team will take on Tyrese Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers on Saturday for the first NBA In-Season Tournament crown.

After Thursday’s game, it was reported that the Lakers would only hang a banner for an NBA title in Arena.

However, according to NBA insider Marc Stein, the team has not made a decision on whether or not it will raise a banner if it wins on Saturday night.

“One source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said after the Lakers’ semifinal rout of New Orleans that no determination has been made yet, one way or the other, about raising a banner to the Arena rafters if LeBron James and Co. can beat the Haliburton-led Pacers in Saturday night’s IST final,” Stein wrote.

For this to even become an issue, the Lakers first need to focus on winning against the Pacers on Saturday. Indiana has put together an impressive run in the league’s In-Season Tournament, knocking off the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the championship game.

The Lakers looked as dominant as ever on Thursday night, blowing out the Pelicans 133-89 behind a monster game from LeBron James. The four-time NBA champion scored 30 points to go with five rebounds and eight assists despite playing less than 25 minutes of game time.

Since the In-Season Tournament is in its inaugural season, there isn’t a protocol for NBA teams when it comes to hanging a banner for winning it.

The Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in the NBA – and all of sports – as they’ve won 17 NBA titles in their illustrious history.

The team may end up wanting to keep the banners in Arena sacred by only displaying NBA titles, but that still appears to be up in the air for now.

Los Angeles would love to win not only the In-Season Tournament in the 2023-24 campaign, but the NBA Finals as well. The Lakers made a run at the title last season, reaching the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers and Pacers are scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m. PST on Saturday night from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.