There have been several checkpoints for LeBron James since signing a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. There were his first public remarks weeks after free agency, a first look at James in a Lakers jersey, his first press conference with the team, first practice and first game.
On Tuesday night, James checks off another box: playing at Staples Center as a member of the Lakers. “It’s a new beginning,” he said of what the game represents. “It’s a new start. It’s new excitement for myself.”
In a more general scope, James is hoping to see the Lakers improve from Sunday’s loss. “We had a good practice yesterday, good shootaround today,” he said. “Want to try and improve on some of the things we didn’t do so well.
“We’re a new group. We’re not at the level some other teams are as far as cohesiveness and chemistry, so every day is another opportunity for us to get better.”
James and the Lakers have’t divulged any set plan on his workload for the 16th preseason of his career. Head coach Luke Walton had previously confirmed James would start, but otherwise painted an open picture.
“They’ll see a lot of him,” Walton answered when asked about the anticipation fans have for James’ first home game. “He’ll be in the building. As far as on the court, we’ll get him out there again. He’ll start the game and we’ll take it from there.”
James played 15 minutes in the preseason opener, though didn’t appear in the second half. Heading into that contest, Walton joked that James would play between one and 48 minutes. “Between two and 48,” was Walton’s estimate for Tuesday.
“He will play more than one. Progress. A little bit each and every day.”