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.
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.”
“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.
Nothing has changed for LeBron.
And here’s LeBron at his most LeBron-iest.
“What, at this stage of your career, creates pressure for you?”
What creates pressure for LeBron? “Nothing.” He may be wearing a new jersey, but LeBron James never changes.