After LeBron James officially signed a four-year, $153 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, he made his first public appearance at the Las Vegas Summer League when his teammates defeated the Detroit Pistons in the semifinals.
Along with meeting Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram at the game, James also had his first conversation with head coach Luke Walton.
The two had only exchanged text messages up until this point as James went on vacation shortly after his free-agency decision.
Following their conversation, Walton was encouraged with the four-time league MVP’s mindset heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
“He’s about the team. He’s about doing things the right way, and he’s about winning,” Walton said. “I can work with those qualities.”
As Walton is only 38 years old and is heading into his third season as the team’s head coach, it is important for him and James to develop a strong relationship. During his playing days, Walton was the ultimate team player and his philosophies have translated over to the young core en route to an 18-win improvement in two seasons.
With Walton anticipating adjusting the team’s offense for James, the team’s core principles of ball movement and pace will likely remain the same.
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