LeBron James on the Lakers: ‘Long way to go’ to catch the Warriors

The Los Angeles Lakers held their media day on Monday, which meant the world finally got to see LeBron James wearing that yellow and purple Lakers uniform live and on camera. LeBron’s session with the media lasted 15 minutes, and he answered questions about his decision to sign with the Lakers, his feelings on starting over with a new team, and so much more.

But there was one question on everyone’s minds: does LeBron think the Lakers can compete with the juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors?

“We’ve got a long way to go to get to Golden State. They can pick up right where they left off. We’re picking up from scratch. So, we have a long way to go. … Hopefully, someday, we can put ourselves in a position where we can compete for a championship, as Golden State has done for the last few years.”

In short, LeBron’s answer is “not yet.” He emphasized throughout the session that the Lakers are a brand new team, and everyone still needs to learn how to play together as a unit and not a collection of separate individuals. The Warriors have spent years building their team, and they have a ton of returning players. It’s natural that it’s going to take both work and time for the Lakers to get to that level.

7 PHOTOS
LeBron James arrives at Summer League in Lakers shorts
See Gallery
LeBron James arrives at Summer League in Lakers shorts
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head coach Tyronn Lue (L) of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers after a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head coach Tyronn Lue (L) of the Cleveland Cavaliers greets LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers after a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head coach Tyronn Lue (L) of the Cleveland Cavaliers talks with LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers after a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Head Coach Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers speaks with LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game against the Detroit Pistons during the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League on July 15, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers attends a quarterfinal game of the 2018 NBA Summer League between the Lakers and the Detroit Pistons at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

While winning a championship is the stated goal of every basketball team, LeBron also said that it’s not the only way to measure success. With the Lakers starting from “scratch,” things like preparation and commitment are important.

Of course, LeBron got a question about his decision to play for the Lakers, and whether all the business opportunities at his fingertips in Los Angeles had anything to do with that. LeBron shut down the haters pretty quick.

“I play ball. That’s what I do. That’s what I live by.” That’s enough to give you chills. He also made sure to point out that his decision to come to the Lakers had everything to do with his family and the team, and nothing to do with anything else.

Even though it’s still weird to see LeBron wearing a Lakers jersey, he’s still the same LeBron with the same ice water flowing through his veins. Here he is answering a question about how he’ll juggle playing ball with his other business ventures. Well, he doesn’t quite answer it as much as he shoves it back into the face of the person who asked.

And here’s LeBron at his most LeBron-iest.

What creates pressure for LeBron? “Nothing.” He may be wearing a new jersey, but LeBron James never changes.

– – – – – –

Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

More from Yahoo Sports:
Tiger’s win is the greatest comeback in sports history
White Sox star says what many think about umpire
Charles Robinson: Latest flag on Packers’ Matthews may be worst yet
Rams’ Gurley really isn’t a fan of Thursday games





 

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.