While James is 34-years-old now, it is a formula that has ultimately led to three championships in eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances in the Eastern Conference.
As the Lakers have given themselves a legitimate chance to win it all in the 2020 NBA Finals, the immediate concern is building team chemistry with nine new players in Year 2.
Following the team’s 2019 NBA preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors, James was asked how they can quickly build chemistry for the new season, via Lakers:
“Communication. If your communication is high, you talk to your teammates, you know what they like, you know what how they benefit the most on the floor, then you’re able to fast track that. Not shortcut the process, but you’re able to fast track it a lot more by just being in communication at all times.”
In order for the Lakers to reach their ultimate goal, it starts and ends with James and Davis. The former discussed how their prior off-the-court relationship helps the process:
“I think it’s never easy to build, but it’s been very good because of the relationship we had before becoming teammates. We’re able to be straightforward with one another, not sugarcoat anything and not take anything personal… being able to take constructive criticism. He gets in my ear, I get in his ear, but it’s all for the betterment of each other, to get each other better and challenge each other, which will ultimately be better for the team.”
When it comes to James and Davis, they played together on Team USA during the 2012 Olympics and the latter joined Klutch Sports Group prior to the 2018-19 NBA season.
As these two factors have certainly helped their off-the-court relationship, the most important remains on the court. While they are arguably two of the top-five players in the league today, they are both extremely unselfish players.
In their first game together, James and Davis showed some good chemistry in pick-and-roll situations. In addition, the former has stated numerous times he wants head coach Frank Vogel’s offensive system to go through his teammate.
With James making the necessary sacrifices to make Davis feel comfortable in Los Angeles, there is confidence the supporting cast will follow and speed up this process.