The NBA is hoping the In-Season Tournament can eventually become a competition that teams take pride in winning. It may never be the postseason, but the success of the event, to some extent, hinges on teams taking it seriously and caring enough to consider winning it to be a serious achievement. So far, that has largely been how things have played out. The Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers have steamrolled their way through the competition to reach the tournament final, and both have spoken publicly about why they want to win it. But if the league is hoping that the winner treats it like a traditional championship, it is likely disappointed with what the Lakers are planning.
According to Arash Markazi, the Lakers do not currently plan to hang a banner if they win the In-Season Tournament. They have a team policy about banners that only allows for them to be raised if the team wins the traditional, end-of-season NBA championship.
In fairness to the Lakers, if they hung banners for anything less than championships, there wouldn't be any room left in the Crypto.com Arena rafters. The Lakers have won 17 NBA championships, 19 Western Conference championships and 33 Pacific Division titles. They also have 15 retired numbers, including Bill Russell, whose No. 6 has been retired league-wide. The Lakers have a similar policy when it comes to retiring numbers. Players are only eligible to have their numbers retired for the Lakers once they've reached the Hall of Fame. An exception was made for Kobe Bryant, whose numbers were retired in the season following his retirement.
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With time, perhaps teams will come to value In-Season Tournament trophies enough to hang banners for them. The Pacers might do so if they win. But a team with as much tradition as the Lakers is justified in holding off. When you have as many banners as they do, it's important to hold off on hanging new ones until you're sure they're meaningful.