With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, Los Angeles Lakers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
Much of that promise can be attributed to one offseason decision. NBA superstar and future Hall of Famer LeBron James joined the Lakers, effectively changing the landscape of the entire league. LeBron had ventured to the NBA Finals in eight straight seasons–all in the Eastern Conference.
However, LeBron wanted a new challenge. He joined forces with Magic Johnson and agreed to a 4-year, $154 million deal.
Despite entering his 15th season, LeBron is still posting stats at a prolific rate. He came in second for the MVP voting last season, and he enters the 2018-19 campaign as a strong favorite to win the award once again. LeBron has already garnered four MVP trophies throughout his illustrious career.
He’s not slowing down, either. LeBron posted 51 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in Game 1 of last year’s Finals against the Golden State Warriors. During the regular season, he averaged 27.5 PPG, 9.1 APG, and 8.6 RPG.
Even though LeBron is heading to the tougher Western Conference, he gains a more talented roster than he had with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Youngsters like Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball should all make LeBron’s job easier. The presence of Ball–and veteran Rajon Rondo–should also allow LeBron to move off the ball at times, leading him into the paint and playing with his back to the basket. This will promote interior scoring and better passing lanes for his teammates.
"For me to be in this position now, the excitement that I have to be a Laker, I'm happy to be a part of it because I believe the Lakers is a historical franchise, we all know that, but it's a championship franchise and that's what we're trying to get back to,” LeBron said. “I'm happy to be a part of the culture and be a part of us getting back to that point."
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