LeBron James: Lakers Treating Scrimmages Like ‘Training Camp’
LeBron James
Joe Murphy-NBAE

LeBron James will spend the next few months trying to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their first championship in 10 years, despite dealing with unprecedented circumstances in the process.

Having to put the season on hold for four months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, then continuing the season in a bubble at Walt Disney World, are things that are simply unheard of.

James is still doing everything he can to lead this team the way he did before the hiatus, bringing the team to a Western Conference-best 49-14 record. James being this type of leader has allowed a team filled with brand new faces to blend together seamlessly, with the Lakers this season becoming known for their chemistry.

Now that scrimmages are starting up and the season is close to restarting, James stressed the importance of the team continuing to improve in all facets of the game.

“We want to just try to get better. We’ll use this moment as a training camp to continue to implement our identity,” James said after the Lakers fell to the Dallas Mavericks. “Our identity is to defend, share the ball, push the tempo and play together. I think we were able to accomplish that to as close to 40 minutes as possible.”

All teams participating in the NBA restart not only will have to overcome a significant layoff, but also play in a setting unlike anything they’ve experienced in their professional careers. The NBA has done their best to make up for an empty arena, but the absence of fans is still noticeable.

But for James, approaching the game has a two-fold purpose. “The same energy that we have on the floor is the same energy that we have towards having justice for Breonna Taylor and her family,” he said. “That’s the energy that we bring to the game, that’s just who we are.

“There’s no fans. Our wonderful fans are watching this game on the TVs, on the laptops, phones, iPads, whatever the case may be. It’s about us creating our own energy, continuing to understand what we’re here for and that’s to get better. That’s what it’s all about.”

With the Lakers having the No. 1 seed locked up, they have 10 more games to treat as a training camp. After four months off, they are picking up right where they left off in terms of chemistry and energy. However, it may take more than one game to get the fundamentals back to where they were in March.

Frank Vogel views seeding games as extension of regular season

While James will be using the next 10 games to focus on improving and getting ready for the playoffs, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel considers it the regular season.

“The goal of these seeding games is to get us to go into the playoffs, just like it would be for the final eight games of a normal regular season,” Vogel recently said. “Go into the playoffs as healthy and as sharp as we can be.”

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