Paul Pierce compares current Lakers team to washed-up 2003-04 team with Karl Malone and Gary Payton

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

The 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers were one of the most disappointing teams in franchise history.

The Lakers added veteran stars Karl Malone and Gary Payton, but they were eliminated in the Finals, falling short of their title aspirations.

Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce thinks the current Lakers have some things in common with that team.

On Showtime Basketball’s “What’s Burnin,” Pierce, Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson discussed some of the moves of the offseason, and the Lakers were one of the teams mentioned.

Jackson discussed how he’s excited to see Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles to compete for a title.

“It’s good to see Melo get a chance to win the championship. It’s also good to see Russ, LeBron, and AD get together, as a basketball fan and also as a former NBA player to see those three guys on the court in the same uniform is exciting to see,” Jackson said. “But if they don’t win a championship, it’s gonna be hell in L.A.”

Pierce doesn’t seem to think that this veteran Lakers squad is built to win a title this season.

“This team is really giving me that Karl Malone, Gary Payton when they were with Kobe [Bryant], that kind of feel,” Pierce said.

Time will tell if Pierce’s prediction is right, but the Lakers did get off to a slow start, losing their season opener to the Golden State Warriors.

Los Angeles will get a chance to bounce back on Friday as it takes on the Phoenix Suns at 7 p.m. PST.

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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.