While just a preseason game and the first of back-to-back meetings between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, Wednesday’s matchup was nevertheless more intriguing than a typical exhibition matchup.
There was the NBA Finals history the Warriors share with LeBron James, Lonzo Ball’s return from offseason knee surgery, and overall the new-look Lakers getting their first look at the two-time defending champions.
“Not much conversation, but the mutual respect is always there,” James said of playing against the Warriors. “Obviously, my relationship with KD goes a little bit deeper, but I’ve known Steph for a long time.
“And being able to compete with Klay, that mutual respect will always be there, so it’s fun to get back on the floor against those guys.”
James went 1-3 against the Warriors in the NBA Finals, with his only win coming in historic fashion as the Cleveland Cavaliers erased a 3-1 series deficit for their first title.
Now the 14-time All-Star will get an opportunity to see the Warriors four times during the regular season. Stephen Curry is looking forward to the more frequent matchups.
Furthermore, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson spoke fondly of James and his decision to sign with the Lakers this year. While James and the Warriors will see each other more often in the regular season, any playoff meeting could come as soon as the first round.
Moreover, the Warriors now could be the team that stands between James and his NBA Finals streak.