LeBron James has repeatedly said he has faith in the Los Angeles Lakers and their potential despite the tough first weeks of the 2021-22 season.
Although the start to the current campaign features high on the list of James’ biggest challenges of his career, the four-time NBA champion said last week that he feels L.A. “hasn’t even scratched the surface on what kind of team we can be.”
The injuries prevented the Lakers from playing a single game with a full group at the coaching staff’s disposal this year — with James missing 12 himself due to injuries, his one-game suspension, and the false-positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result fiasco.
Hence, the 36-year-old All-Star thinks the Lakers should make no personnel changes before the team can show what it’s capable of when at full strength.
“It’s impossible for me to say ‘OK, when do we get to a point where we need to make a change?'” James said.
“And I don’t think we even need to do that. I love every guy that’s in this locker room and I believe in what we’re capable of doing. When we get enough game reps and enough logged minutes – we’ve had guys in and out, especially me. I can’t even say how I feel at this point because I’ve been in the lineup half the games.
“I love what Rob and coach and the front office did to assemble this team, and we look forward to the journey ahead of us.”
James: Lakers have flexibility to play ‘whatever lineup’ necessary
The Lakers brought out a special lineup, featuring James at the five in recent weeks. Despite the lack of size on the floor, the unit has worked well with the versatile veteran playing the role of the team’s quarterback from the paint.
James said the Lakers boast a deep and flexible roster that can perform well in unusual schemes like their centerless formation.
“We have the ability to play whatever lineup that the game calls for,” he said.
“Coach [Vogel] and the coaching staff do a great job of putting lineups on the floor that he feels are best for us at that moment. But we shooting, we have guys that can play in the paint, we have guys that are very quick, we have guys that can rebound the ball, we got dagger guys that can just flat out shoot the ball and we have a lot of scoring as well.
“So obviously with Frank, the most important thing for him is defense to start off and setting the tone to start off the game. But you also have to be able to score too and he wants us to do that as well.”
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