LeBron in his own words

LeBron in his own words

What we can learn from LeBron’s comments since joining the Lakers and what it tells us about his plans for transforming the team

Four years is a long time in any sport, especially when an all-time great is involved. It seems like yesterday when LeBron James was turning the NBA world upside down by returning to the Cavaliers, but now – off the back of his 14 th All-Star game and third MVP award in the fixture – he’s leaving Cleveland for a second time. His next destination is Los Angeles, where he will aim for even more glory with a franchise that has gone almost a decade without a Conference Finals appearance, but what can we read into what he has said since moving out to the West Coast?

‘A Championship Franchise’

“I believe the Lakers is a historical franchise, we all know that, but it’s a championship franchise and that’s what we’re trying to get back to.,” LeBron said upon joining his new teammates. He would go on to repeat comments about ‘championship habits’ as something he and the rest of the Lakers roster should be striving for, and this is something difficult to quantify if you don’t come from a background of coming through with the goods at crucial moments. Lesser teams have made the playoffs in the past – seemingly through sheer force of will on some occasions – and the presence of someone who has been there and knows what it takes will be invaluable. Even when players aren’t quite at the desired level, the mental toughness that comes with the influence of someone who has done it all before can be enough to give them that extra push.

Looking to the future

Speaking after LeBron’s arrival, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson stressed how their new arrival recognises the potential of the young and hungry players on the roster. “He knows he can take these young guys and really work on their skill set, their mindset, their approach to the game, their work ethic,” Johnson said. “And he’s already rubbing off on them and really has not gotten together with them yet. So when you have the greatest player in the world come join your organization, it raises everybody’s level of play.” LeBron himself has already shown how much he cares about the next generation off the court, opening the I Promise School for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. However, his ambition knows no bounds, and he looks set to bring his youngest Lakers teammates up to a level where they can stand on their own two feet when he ultimately moves on.