LeBron James says the energy at Los Angeles Lakers training camp is up from last season.
LeBron James says energy at Los Angeles Lakers training camp up from last season. Read more in detail here: los angeles lakers.
THE CITY OF EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA — LeBron James, as tired as he looked after the Los Angeles Lakers’ second day of training camp — flopped down in an interview room chair, shoes unlaced, perspiration pouring down his brow — said Thursday that it was a sign of fire rather than weariness.
The squad seemed to be exhausted from the start of last season’s camp, which began less than two months after L.A.’s triumph in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. Things are different this year, with the Lakers reuniting almost four months after their first-round playoff defeat to the Phoenix Suns, with 11 new players and a fresh opportunity to win the franchise’s 18th championship.
When asked what had changed, James said, “Just the energy.” “It basically took everything away from you last year when you came off the bubble.” Any remaining energy you had was totally depleted by the time we departed…. Coming back into the season after such a fast start, the liveliness of the party had become a little bit monotonous. You have every right to be so. Guys just didn’t have the chance to take a mental vacation.
“In comparison to last season, you could certainly feel the intensity change a lot more in the first two sessions this season.”
The addition of former MVP Russell Westbrook as the cornerstone of a cadre of experienced vets that L.A. acquired in totally revamping its roster has meant more encounters for James, who has been shouting out playcalls and instructions to his new bunch.
“Obviously, you can see I’ve been screaming the past few days, just trying to execute everything,” James said, his voice raspy. “As the minutes pass, my voice weakens, but that’s a wonderful thing.”
As the 36-year-old great begins his 19th season, Lakers coach Frank Vogel welcomed his arrival.
Vogel remarked, “He sets a wonderful tone for attention.” “Hanging on every word the coaches say, making sure he understands it and is performing it correctly.” That, I believe, sets the tone for the rest of the men to absorb what we’re trying to say. It everything begins there…
“In instances when there is a detail that has to be cleaned up, he is also quite outspoken. However, I believe his hoarseness is due to the intensity of today’s session. Today, these men went for it with a vengeance. With the potential we have, seeing players play that hard and physically that early in training camp is a fantastic indication.”
Newcomers Kendrick Nunn, Kent Bazemore, and DeAndre Jordan were singled out by James after their excellent start at camp. “I don’t believe Melo has been missed since he’s been a Laker,” said Lakers guard Rajon Rondo of Carmelo Anthony.
Rondo, too, expressed his admiration for James.
Rondo said, “It’s what excellence is all about.” “Every squad he’s been a part of has reached the pinnacle of success. Everyone else needs to follow, lock in, and strive to do the same when a man like him sets the tone.”
So if James looks weary when he exits the gym during training camp, it’s simply due to the amount of effort he put in during that period.
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