LeBron James didn’t have much luck in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Unlike his previous stints with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, James entered the 2018-19 NBA season without another legitimate NBA superstar by his side. James and the Lakers have somewhat managed to remain competitive, but just when they were about to get their rhythm, the All-Star forward suffered a serious injury resulting in the Purple and Gold missing the Western Conference Playoffs for the sixth straight year.
Despite suffering a huge disappointment last season, there are some people who believe LeBron James will bounce back and show everyone in the league that he is still the best basketball player on the planet, including his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Richard Jefferson. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, which is currently available on Twitter, Jefferson expressed his support for James, saying that the Lakers superstar will return to being a “dominant guy” in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“LeBron James will be the best player in basketball again,” Jefferson said, as quoted by Complex. “Now, will he be the LeBron James from ’08, chasing down blocks–no. But he is going to do so many different things. And with Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis on his team, he’s going to be able to be that dominant guy again.”
Richard Jefferson think LeBron is set to bounce back in a big way next season.https://t.co/vOP0RQv0nO
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 13, 2019
Richard Jefferson definitely knows what he’s talking about since he personally witnessed LeBron James’ greatness in their years playing together in Cleveland. Jefferson was a member of the Cavaliers when James helped them overcome a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals to bring home the first Larry O’Brien Trophy in Cleveland. James may have gone through plenty of ups and downs in his first year wearing the Purple and Gold, but Jefferson is very confident that the All-Star forward will find a way to silence his critics and prove his doubters wrong next season.
“But I think really and truly, he’s more focused on proving to people that basketball is the most important thing to him,” Jefferson said. “And the only way to do that is to go and destroy as many people as possible.”
Compared to when he first arrived in Los Angeles, LeBron James has a more realistic chance of ending the Lakers’ title drought. In the 2019 NBA offseason, the Lakers succeeded in surrounding James with a better supporting cast. After acquiring All-Star center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers used their salary cap space to sign quality veterans on the free agency market, including DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels. The Lakers also brought back some of their own free agents, including Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso.