LeBron James Pleased With Growth Lakers Showed During In-Season Tournament
Lakers, In-Season Tournament, NBA
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA’s first In-Season Tournament by defeating the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas and naturally, LeBron James was named the MVP.

That is yet another accolade to add to James’ historic career, and he and the Lakers as a team were extremely dominant in this tournament. Not only did they go 7-0 to win the first NBA Cup, but they had a plus-135 point differential in those games, winning by an average margin of almost 20 points per game.

After a slow start to the season, the Lakers are definitely starting to hit their stride now that they are getting healthy and James discussed what he saw from his team this tournament.

“Just growth. I think every moment we grew,” James said. “The In-Season Tournament, 7-0, it’s been high-intensity games and we’ve just grown. I feel like guys have felt a lot more comfortable in their roles. We’ve had a pretty good understanding of rotations. You know who you’re going to be playing with and you know what you guys want to do out on the floor.

“And like AD said, getting Vando back, getting Rui back has helped our frontcourt, our size, and getting Cam back has helped us a lot. Not too many people talk about it, but one of the biggest shots of the game was they made their run, cut it to three and Cam hits that big-time three in front of our bench to put it up six. We didn’t go back after that. Cam has been big-time for us and I’m happy to see him thrive under this role with us because he deserves it, for sure.”

Even though the Lakers are playing great basketball right now and took home some hardware in this tournament, LeBron knows that it’s still only December and they have a lot more regular season games before he can think about the actual playoffs.

“I think that’s thinking too far down the road. We want to put it in perspective that it’s still December. We like where we are right now but we want to continue to work our habits, continue to get healthy as well. But I think right now where we are in December, I would take it. I would take it. But I’m definitely not looking to May and June. That’s too far. There’s too many steps that need to be taken still in order for our team to be who we want to be once the postseason starts. As of today, I like the way we played in the semifinals on Thursday and then tonight. Our defensive intensity, in order for us to win and win at the highest level, we have to defend. We’ve been doing that over the last few weeks.”

James and the Lakers seem to be taking things one game at a time and that has worked to this point, so hopefully it can continue now that they will go back to playing regular season games with much lower stakes than the In-Season Tournament.

James’ desire to own team in Las Vegas hasn’t changed

James has not been shy about wanting to own an NBA team once his playing days are over and he has stated his desired for that team to be in Las Vegas.

After winning the first In-Season Tournament at T-Mobile Arena, James was again asked about the city and his future plans remain the same.

“Has not changed. My enthusiasm about being here post-career, bringing a team here has not changed. The fans are amazing here. They have everything already: WNBA team, they have a baseball team coming in soon, NFL team, hockey team, F1 was just here over the Thanksgiving week. Everything is here. This is a place that loves great attractions and I think the NBA will be another great addition to this city. Obviously we see the success with Summer League and things of that nature and the Aces as well. It will be fun.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: LeBron James Expects ‘Challenging’ Road Trips

The Los Angeles Lakers are on their first road trip of the season which, as everything else with this year, will be…

2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers Player Review: D’Angelo Russell

The Los Angeles Lakers knew they needed to make a change at the trade deadline during the 2022-23 season as their playoff hopes…

Wenyen Gabriel Had ‘Positive Experience’ In Short Time With Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the hot seat. After a disappointing trade season, and a depressing early season exit…

Lakers Nation Roundtable: NBA All-Star Weekend Predictions

NBA All-Star Weekend is finally upon us…