Plenty changed for the Los Angeles Lakers with the signing of LeBron James in free agency this summer. Namely, no longer being viewed as a team that’s rebuilding with a young core.
Although there remains plenty of dissension over how much the Lakers will improve this season, they should take some semblance of a step forward with James leading the charge. One reason for some uncertainty being cast on them is questions over how the Lakers young core will adapt.
The group showed flashes of promise this past season, but now will be under a microscope unlike any other previous experience.
And it’s that aspect, plus needing to adjust to fit a role, that Channing Frye believes will be challenges for the Lakers now that James is in the fold, via Erik Garcia Gundersen of USA Today :
“I think the thing they’re going to come to and I think a lot of guys are going to have to deal with this. There’s who you expect to be and then who you are when you play with LeBron. It’s two different things. I don’t know if they truly understand what it’s like to play with him because there is no room for mistakes. Because in all actuality, he could do it himself. He could lead a team to 40 wins by himself. I think for all of them they’re going to have to have a reality check, not only them but the people around them. There’s going to say, not a growing period, but a humility.”
Frye’s comments aren’t meant as any sort of dig at his former teammates. The veteran big man regularly praised the Lakers and their rising young stars, both when he was with the team and since signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers in free agency.
Frye also speaks from experience as he spent parts of three seasons with James and the Cavs. He was there for three trips to the NBA Finals, including an upset win of the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
The 35-year-old hoped to re-sign with the Lakers this offseason but was understanding of the franchise opting to go in a different direction.