Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James has a lot to prove heading into the 2021-22 season as an injury-plagued 2020-21 campaign robbed him of a chance to win his fifth MVP and championship.
Although publications like ESPN still rank James as a top-3 player in the league, there has been some doubt whether or not he has enough to lead a team to a title. However, in order to give James the best chance to contend, the front office did an excellent job surrounding him with veteran talent who know their roles and are ready to contribute.
The excitement in Los Angeles is palpable after an eventful free agency period, and James seems energized for the upcoming season.
“I’m super excited,” James said at Lakers Media Day. “I’ve been up since like 5:30 this morning, I was excited driving here this morning for another season, getting ready to see my teammates. To be honest, getting ready to see you guys. I missed you guys and some of your great and sometimes not-so-great questions. But I’m excited for what’s in store for us this year. Every day is a process, every day is all about the journey and just putting in the work.
“And then the narrative about our age, I kind of laugh at it. I actually do laugh, I’m not just saying that. But some of the memes and some of the jokes have been extremely funny. Some of it is just trying to get people to ready tabloids and things of that nature. But the game is won in between those four lines and it’s not won on the bottom ticker, it’s not won in the newspaper, it’s not won on sports talk shows and things of that nature. We come out and we put the time in and we put the work in, we make our own narrative and one thing that we know what we are. We got a bunch of guys that have been in this league for quite a while that understand and know what it takes to win. And that’s the business that we in, is winning, and doing it all the time, not just on occasion so I look forward to that.”
As the leader of the team, James has a say in how the roster is built and he talked about how he and the organization worked together to find the right pieces.
“Well it was exciting helping put this team together this summer, understanding what I felt and we all felt was gonna help us be a title-contending team. Making us as explosive as we could both offensively and defensively and we was able to do that. Obviously it’s all about putting the work in, I’m not gonna sit here and talk about hypotheticals and things of that nature but we have a team that’s looking forward to putting in the work.”
Even in Year 19, James finds ways to get himself amped up for another year but this time around it feels different as the Purple and Gold have a great chance of capturing another title.
James wants Westbrook to be himself
Russell Westbrook joins James and Anthony Davis as the third star on the roster, but even though he is the newcomer James emphasized that he wants the guard to be himself and for the rest of the team to make him feel comfortable.
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