For the first time since Kobe Bryant retired, the Los Angeles Lakers have a true superstar to lead the team in LeBron James. The Lakers and James recently agreed to a four-year deal and even though the team has yet to add another superstar, the potential of this team remains high.
That is due in large part to the promising young players already in the fold for the Lakers. Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Hart all showed a ton of potential during the 2017-18 NBA season and the addition of a player like James will bring out the best in each of them.
Bryant sees things the same way. In an appearance on The Doug Gottlieb Show, the five-time champion spoke about what James’ arrival means for the development of the team’s young core:
“I think the wonderful thing about this is that it really does speed up the development of the younger players. They’ve been growing so much and now here they are, thrusted into the spotlight. Pressure makes diamonds. In this situation you’ll see Lonzo step up. You’ll see Kuzma step up more. The young guys will really step up and rise to that challenge, and hit their potential a lot faster than they ordinarily would.”
One thing that is for sure is that the young players will get a lot of experience in huge games, particularly in the playoffs, and there is no substitute for that. As Bryant said, pressure makes diamonds and Ball, Kuzma, and Ingram will be in pressure-filled situations that they have never been in.
Of course, there is still plenty that can change and every young player may not be with the Lakers for the long haul. Nonetheless, James being on the court will help them develop immediately, and they will need to in order to succeed once those games increase in pressure.
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