Dalton Knecht’s pick for best team of all time will raise Lakers fans’ eyebrows


The Los Angeles Lakers were hailed by many as one of the biggest winners of the 2024 NBA Draft. Not only were they able to draft Bronny James with the 55th overall pick, which means they did not have to overextend just to keep LeBron James happy, they were also gifted with one of the best collegiate basketball players of the 2023-24 season in Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht. Knecht, despite being widely mocked to go in the middle of the lottery, fell all the way to the Lakers at pick 17.

Knecht, however, may have to work on his love for the Lakers franchise. After all, he hails from Thornton, Colorado, which means that he has been rooting for the Denver Nuggets all his life. In fact, during a rapid fire segment for SLAM, the Tennessee product named the Nuggets as his personal best team of all time.

Now, Dalton Knecht simply stayed true to himself. Being a fan of an NBA team is almost like a lifetime commitment, and being from a town that’s only 10 miles away from Denver means that being a Nuggets fan is in his blood. But Knecht may have to switch up his allegiances really quickly given the contentious relationship between the Lakers and Nuggets over the past two seasons.

As one would recall, the Lakers saw their playoff run come to an end at the hands of the Nuggets in 2023 and 2024. These playoff series defeats came in heartbreaking fashion as well, with the Lakers taking huge leads and being competitive against the Nuggets, only for Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray to come alive and rip their hearts out.

At the end of the day, as long as Dalton Knecht can separate his lifelong Nuggets fandom and his job to earn as many wins as possible for the Lakers, then all will be alright in the world of the Purple and Gold fanbase.

Dalton Knecht gives Lakers fans even more ammo

As if Dalton Knecht’s love for the Nuggets wasn’t enough to raise the eyebrows of some Lakers fans, his pick for who the greatest player of all time is will spark even more curiosity from the league’s most raucous fanbase.

Instead of choosing LeBron James, the Lakers’ current star who recently re-signed with the team, Kobe Bryant, the player many believe is the greatest Laker of all-time, or even Michael Jordan, the player widely considered to be the greatest to ever hold a basketball, Knecht chose Kevin Durant as his personal favorite in the same SLAM rapid fire.

With Dalton Knecht being more of a perimeter player, it’s not too difficult to understand why he holds Durant in the highest of regards. Durant is a pure hooper who could get buckets every which way, and for as athletic as Durant is, he prefers to be smooth in the way he operates instead of being something more of a battering ram.

But again, Durant is one of the biggest rivals of LeBron James’ career. Now, Durant is playing for one of the Lakers’ division rivals in the Phoenix Suns. Knecht better not be starstruck when he shares a court with Durant, especially when he’s expected to play an important role for the Lakers this season thanks to his ability to space the floor and make threes off the catch and on the move. Knecht averaged 22 points on 46 percent shooting from the field and nearly 40 percent from deep last season for Tennessee.

Knecht redeems himself

In the end, however, Dalton Knecht proclaimed that the team he’s on for the 2024-25 season will be the one that stands tall and hoists the Larry O’Brien trophy. This winning mentality is what will endear Knecht to the Lakers fanbase really quickly, and he has experience performing under pressure, what with him flourishing as Tennessee’s number one option in their run to the Elite Eight this past season.

However, the Lakers may find it difficult to back up Knecht’s proclamation. After all, they have been one of the most quiet teams of the offseason. They haven’t yet made a substantial roster move that will help move the needle for them in terms of championship contention.

As things stand, the Lakers will mostly be running back last year’s team. It appears as though this roster has already reached its ceiling. While the Lakers cannot be blamed for their lack of effort, as their free-agent targets have simply decided to spurn them, they will have to make some moves to avoid being mere playoff filler in the difficult gauntlet that is the Western Conference.

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