LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers’ pursuit of the 2019-20 NBA Championship is officially back underway as they have reported to the Orlando bubble and are holding team practices in preparation for scrimmage games and restart of the season.
It has been four months since they last played, a time when the were rolling when the NBA season got shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. L.A. was coming of a letdown loss, but before that notched back-to-back wins over the Milwaukee Brewers and L.A. Clippers.
A lot has changed since then, but the goal for James and the Lakers remains the same in Orlando. “I’m just taking it all in. For me, I’m all about the process,” James said of checking in at Walt Disney World.
“I’m here for one goal and one goal only. That’s to win a championship. And to get better every single day. That’s my mindset. My mindset is to do that on the floor. My mindset off the floor is to continue to give education, continue to give guidance to my communities and communities around the world, in the inner city about how important our voice is, how important we are, and creating change.
“That is my main focus. I’m here to do nothing else besides play the game at high level, bring a championship back to L.A. hopefully and also continue to push the envelope with creating change for my people.”
There has been some mixed reaction to the players’ living situation at Walt Disney World, where they will be staying for the remainder of the season. James doesn’t have a problem with his accommodations though, he and his teammates are just happy to be back together and taking the situation in stride.
“It’s like we never left. We picked right up where we left off. It’s like when I was growing up and you had AAU days,” James said. “Once the season is over you kind of go back to your respective cities and things of that nature. Then AAU season starts up again the next spring, and it’s like you never left.
“That’s how this feeling is. We got back together, feel like we’ve been together for years even though this is our first year together. I was just happy to see all my brothers and doing what we love to do best. That’s playing the game of basketball and doing it for one another.”
Difficulty Of Leaving Family
The last few months off has given players the ability to spend time with their families that they wouldn’t have otherwise had. The most difficult part of this entire situation for James is leaving his family behind to travel across the country.
“For the first time, probably since I was 12 or 13, I had that much downtime without playing basketball or not knowing when we were going to get back on the floor,” he said.
“It gave me an opportunity to be home, make up a lot of time that I’ve lost over the years because I’ve been playing in this league and striving to be one of the greatest if not the greatest to ever play this game, so sacrificing my family at times was the most challenging and hardest part about it all.”
Luckily for James, as the Lakers continue to advance in the playoffs, more family members will be allowed in the Orlando bubble, giving him and his teammates a chance to reunite with their loved ones after some time away.
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