Through eight games of the 2018-19 NBA season, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have found themselves in close games except for one, when they pulled away and dominated the Phoenix Suns on the road.
As all five losses thus far have been by 10 points or less, there is naturally frustration about their inability to close out games.
For someone like James who has experienced all the highs and lows in his career, he understands the process Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball will have to go through in this stage of their respective careers.
While James recently warned what could come if he ultimately loses his patience, he believes these close games will benefit the Lakers’ young core.
“I’m extremely happy we’re going through it,” James said. “You can talk about it, you can preach about it, you can watch film. The best teacher in life is experience. It’s great that these young guys are getting this experience of playing these tight, close games.
“[Wednesday], we were on the other side. It was the same situation against San Antonio and we lost. Same situation happened tonight, we won. So it’s great to learn from it.”
When one of the best players of all time signs with one of the best sports franchises, there will be instant championship expectations. However, James and the Lakers understand it will require patience to reach that type of level.
Although there is pressure to win games in the extremely competitive Western Conference, there is also optimism considering how competitive they are already. With the Lakers focusing on rebounding and defending without fouling, those losses will eventually turn into wins as the young core gains experience.