NUGGETS

Nuggets and Lakers feud is so good it leads NBA’s opening night

Aug 10, 2023, 4:00 PM

We won’t have to wait long for the continuing Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers beef as the foes from the 2023 Western Conference Finals will match up to open up the 2023-24 NBA season.

The Nuggets swept the Lakers out of the playoffs en route to a 16-4 record and the franchise’s first-ever title. It was LeBron James first-time being swept that early in the playoffs and the face of the league and his team that ‘won the offseason‘ will travel to Denver for the teams’ first of the 82-game slate.

Meaning coach Darvin Ham, All-Star Anthony Davis and friends will get to watch Nikola Jokic and crew hoist a banner.

The Nuggets and Lakers will be followed by fellow west-coast titans Golden State and Phoenix, who conducted a serious trade that shipped future Hall of Famer Chris Paul to the Bay this summer.

The banner-raising date is now set for Denver, coming a few days after their travel-heavy preseason ends.

The game isn’t just big because it’ll be the first time the Gold Nuggets get to wear all gold but it’s a matchup of teams who have feuded since that series ended in Los Angeles so quickly. Michael Malone threw shots and James following Denver’s NBA Finals win over the Heat. The poking came as James weakly suggested he may retire after losing to the Nuggets and the bear was provoked months later throwing a shot back at his former coach Malone, from France. Ham has also joined the fray of the beef, all the while a few Nuggets have talked about how much meaning beating the Lakers carried.

That matchup again, will not overshadow the accomplishment but add to it. And the Lakers, who spent all summer trying to catch up to the Nuggets and finding better ways to matchup with Jokic and Jamal Murray, will get to test their re-done team out right away.

The primetime game on TNT will surely be the first of many big-time showcases for the champion Nuggets, but we won’t know for sure until the entire NBA slate is released in the coming weeks.

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