- LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers over the offseason, joining with an assortment of talented young players and ragtag veterans to make one of the most puzzling rosters in the NBA.
- Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka relayed a story of how James is already bringing his competitive fire to the team, jeering at teammates in scrimmage who don’t have their hands ready.
LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the biggest move of the NBA offseason, and with opening day just a few months away, he’s already been busy getting to know his new roster of teammates.
It’s something of a ragtag bunch, with veterans like Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson brought in to play alongside James, joining a roster that was relatively young elsewhere with emerging stars like Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
But as Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka explained during a sit-down with Lakers president Jeannie Buss, head coach Luke Walton, and team broadcasters John Ireland and Mychal Thompson, James already brought his leadership into the locker room and is running a tight ship during offseason practice sessions.
Pelinka relayed a story of watching LeBron during a scrimmage.
“Now we have one of the most competitive players in the world and I’ve seen it already in our scrimmages, our 5-on-5. The other day [LeBron] was in here and there was a fastbreak, and he had this pass where he took off at halfcourt, and he did like a 360 in the air, wrapped the ball around his back and found a guy under the hoop. But the player, it was such an unbelievable pass, the player fumbled the ball out of bounds.
“And so as that player is running back, LeBron’s running back to play defence, he’s like, ‘Man, do you like your nose?’ The player’s like, ‘Yeah, I like my nose.’ And he’s like, ‘Well get your hands ready or I’m gonna break your nose!'”
Pelinka noted that James’ intensity and competitiveness are positively permeating beyond the court and throughout the whole Lakers organisation. “Every detail of that competition – it elevates all of us,” Pelinka said.
There’s still a long way to go before we know how LeBron’s debut season in Los Angeles goes, but as Pelinka tells it, we can at least confident that his teammates will be ready for the ball by the time the season starts.
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