There’s hardly an NBA star more familiar with what winning culture looks like than Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James.
James has won an NBA championship with each team he’s played for. In Miami and L.A., he joined established franchises that had already experienced the taste of victory.
But he also reunited with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 — the team that had drafted him in 2003 — and directly contributed to building a team culture there, leading to the organization’s first-ever NBA title in 2016.
James’ competitiveness has hugely contributed to the four-time NBA champion’s success. He explains in the latest episode of “The Shop: Uninterrupted” he enjoys the pressure that comes with the “win-or-bust” mindset. “I’m obsessed with it,” James says.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) July 15, 2022
“And what makes me have sleepless nights,” he continues, “is when you don’t have everyone that feels the same way on your club.”
Interestingly, the 37-year-old now seems willing to patch things up with Irving at Westbrook’s expense, hoping the Lakers will trade the 2017 NBA MVP away to reunite with the former Cavaliers teammate in L.A. this summer.
James opens up on building winning culture in Cleveland
In the episode, James also reflects on the process of developing team culture in Cleveland as a teenager in his first stint with the team.
“You know, there wasn’t any culture,” James says. “And that’s no knock on anybody that was there or whatever the case may be, but there was no culture.
“And I felt like it was my job as an 18-year-old to try to build culture, which is kind of unfair, but it is what it is. You know, to try to build the culture to make it seem like… or make it feel like it could be something special.”
Asked about the importance of team culture, James says: “Definitely culture first and then if you can blend that with the talent and the right pieces, it literally is the — it’s the gateway to being successful for a long period of time.”
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