The Los Angeles Lakers are winning again, at least in NBA summer league. The Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 110-98 in the championship final and lifted the summer league trophy for the first time in their history. Forward Kyle Kuzma was outstanding for his team. The absence of Lonzo Ball due to a calf injury he sustained in the semifinal game prompted Kuzma to carry the Lakers on his own. His 30 points and 10 rebounds won him the MVP. On the other hand, Ball was named the summer league MVP thanks to his averages of 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, and 7.7 rebounds -- also recording two triple-doubles.

Magic enjoys the victory

magic johnson was bold enough to announce that "the Lakers are back" at the trophy presentation ceremony. Johnson added, "We're going to try to make sure we build and grow. We're going to have a great year, but also build toward having sustainability so we can have a lot of great years." The sweet taste of victory is like none other. Championship teams start with a winning mentality, a mentality which Lakers teams have long cherished throughout the storied years of the franchise.

The last four years have not been easy for Lakers fans. Apart from losing Kobe Bryant to injuries and then retirement, the team's rebuilding mode has tested the patience of its exigent fans. However, Lakers fans are as loyal as they get.

They have stuck with their team and filled Staples Center continuously. They have held onto hope, and now the fruits of their patience seem to have arrived. Magic Johnson is steering the Lakers in the right direction and Lonzo Ball seems to be the leader and star they have all been waiting for.

Can Lakers continue to win?

Winning the NBA summer league is meaningless and encouraging at the same time. The level of competition will be much higher in the NBA. The Lakers' young players will face reality once they go against the athleticism, intensity, and skill set of experienced NBA players.

What has been encouraging about the performance of the Lakers summer league players has been their level of competitiveness and willingness to win.

They bought into Ball's unselfish style of play, and making the extra pass suddenly became contagious. Ball and Kuzma were the clear leaders, and they will surely have a nice impact on the Lakers team in the long run. Their understanding on the court was impressive. Hopefully, for Lakers fans, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, and the rest of the team will also immediately benefit from sharing the floor with Ball. The Lakers might be back and ready to make some noise again in the NBA.

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