LeBron James played some of the best basketball of his career in leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the franchise’s 17th NBA title last season.
The soon-to-be-36-year-old has continued to impress with his evolution as a player in recent years, taking on more playmaking responsibilities in particular following his arrival in L.A. That yielded outstanding results during the 2019-20 season and helped develop a strong bond with Anthony Davis in their first season together.
For all of James’ success at point guard, the Lakers added two competent playmakers in Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol to the roster. The arrival of Schroder has led to plenty of debate over whether he would become the team’s de facto point guard.
James said he would not have trouble adjusting and passing the playmaker’s baton to his teammates if necessary. “Last year called for me to be the primary ballhandler, to make sure I get guys the ball, make sure I keep the ball moving and things of that nature worked well for us, but every year is its own challenge,” he said.
“This challenge could be different. If the coaching staff or players come to me and say they need me to score more than I did last year, or try to assist more, or defend more, whatever it is, I just want to win.”
James showed no signs of slowing down despite playing his 17th NBA season in 2019-20. Even though he mainly performed the shot creator’s role and led the league in assists, averaging career-high 10.2 dimes, the All-Star still managed to score 25.3 points per game during the regular season.
His stats only improved in the postseason as James averaged 27.6 points, 8.8 assists, and 10.8 in the Orlando bubble.
James makes first preseason appearance against Suns
James played in the first half of the 112-107 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, making his first appearance of the 2020 preseason. The veteran forward scored 11 points, adding a couple of rebounds and assists in 15 minutes.
Despite the extremely short offseason, James came out of the locker room determined. He attacked the paint aggressively and, as he often did in the Orlando bubble, even attempted a couple of long dagger threes, though he missed those as rust needs to be knocked off.
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