Three-time NBA champion LeBron James shocked the entire league when he decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers, a team who has missed the NBA Playoffs for five consecutive years. Unlike in the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, James signed with the Lakers despite not having other superstars on their roster, making some people question his real intention of heading to Hollywood.
In a recent interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, LeBron James discussed the difference between the Cavaliers and the Lakers. James made it clear that the main reason why he joined the Purple and Gold is to help them get back to winning.
“This city is built on stars,” James said, as transcribed by SB Nation’s Silver Screen And Roll. “This city breeds stars, and it breeds winners. And I’m a winner, more importantly. But obviously with Jeanie [Buss], Earvin [Magic Johnson] and Rob [Pelinka], they know what it means and know what it feels like to win, so they’re a little bit closer to the finish line than, say, when I first got back to Cleveland. We want to get back to winning. This franchise hasn’t won in the last few years, but that’s all they’ve known since they’ve been in existence.”
Bringing the Lakers back to the NBA Finals is undeniably a tough challenge for LeBron James. Aside from the four role players – JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and Michael Beasley – the Lakers controversially signed in the recent free agency, James is currently surrounded by young players who are yet to acquire a playoff experience.
LeBron James finally reveals what he said to Lonzo Ball last season https://t.co/C0eelaXWM2
— Iveygirl08 (@iveygirl08) September 26, 2018
When the Lakers signed LeBron James, they actually gained a real chance of acquiring their second superstar (Kawhi Leonard) this summer. However, James has told the Lakers not to break their young core just to give him a superstar teammate. As of now, the 33-year-old small forward likes what he sees with his young teammates, especially Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma.
Though he is still recovering from an injury, James believes Lonzo Ball is “destined for greatness.” Being a pass-first point guard, most people believe Ball will be a great fit playing alongside James. Meanwhile, James said that Brandon Ingram is “next” and poised for another breakout season. After a disappointing rookie season, Ingram managed to establish an impressive performance in his sophomore year, averaging 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on 47.0 percent shooting from the field and 39.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Regarding Kyle Kuzma, James has nothing but praise for what he has done for his body and for his mind this offseason. James believes Kuzma’s incredible work ethic will not only be huge for the Lakers’ success, but it will also speed up his development into a legitimate NBA superstar in the league.