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Lakers’ LeBron James has long list of contenders, but says Warriors ‘the team everybody is trying to catch’

LeBron James, Lakers, Warriors

LeBron James effectively dodged a question about whether or not his Los Angeles Lakers are a championship contender coming into this season, but he made one thing clear: the Golden State Warriors are the one teams must hurdle in order to realize their title hopes.

“There’s a lot of championship contenders, but there is only one champion and that is the Golden State Warriors,” said James. “They’re the team that everybody is trying to catch, but you also have the Houston Rockets, who are really good, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors — there’s a lot of championship contending teams, but everybody knows that that trophy goes through Golden State.”

James shied away from calling his very own Lakers a championship contender and understandably so, given the lack of star power around him and the loose pieces on one-year deals that were assembled over the course of this offseason.

The Lakers are clearly looking to add another All-Star-caliber player next summer while James gets familiar with this franchise, but having played against the Warriors in the last four NBA Finals, The King likely knows it’ll take much more than a one-man train to get to that spot.

All the aforementioned teams have rosters that are ready to compete for a championship, while James and company are still a mystery of sorts heading into a talent-packed Western Conference that could prove a major contrast from his previous 15 seasons in the league.