Paul Pierce is predicting unmitigated disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.
The Hall of Famer said he does not see the Lakers as a top-eight seed in the Western Conference for 2022-23.
It is fair to note that Pierce spent most of his career playing for the Celtics, building a competitive disrespect for the Purple and Gold.
That said, Kevin Garnett, Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson all seemed equally skeptical that these Lakers can get it done.
Most of their doubts centered on Anthony Davis and his ability to take the franchise reins from LeBron James as James enters his 20th NBA season. Davis has proved himself incapable of handling that load over his first three seasons in Los Angeles, playing second banana to James during the victorious 2020 Finals run before spending most of the last two years injured.
These aren't some outsized and unexpected expectations coming from bitter former players, either. James himself has championed Davis as the long-term face of the Lakers, and the franchise didn't mortgage several years of draft picks for a guy who can't make an All-NBA team.
This may quietly be a make-or-break year for Davis' future with the Lakers.