Lakers’ young players not in awe of LeBron James
Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James to a multi-year contract, an underlying storyline many fans were eager to follow was his impact on the team’s young core. After all, when these players were growing up, The King was arguably the most popular basketball player on the planet.
After several months of interaction and working out together, we finally have a conclusive answer Lakers fans will be glad to hear about.
According to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball all respect James immensely, but were never really starstruck upon meeting him at the facility. Instead, they view him more as a leader who can bring a lot of intangibles to the team.
Hart, the second-year guard, perfectly sums up their relationship:
“He’s one of us,” Hart said. “But he’s the best player to put on an NBA jersey. When you have someone like that he’s obviously the vocal leader and talks to you. But it’s not like he’s spazzing on us. He can relate on a different level but he can joke around so it makes it just regular.”
Ball and Kuzma added:
“He not God,” Ball said one day.
Kuzma dismissed the idea of being starstruck.
“I’m kind of past that point,” Kuzma said. “It’s going into my second year playing. I’ve been through playing a lot of games so you know it’s kind of another game.”
James chimes in as well and acknowledges this bond:
“If we’re serious about what we’re here for and we’re putting in the time, we should all have awe moments,” James said. “For me, I’m just one of the guys. … I come in, I punch my clock in, I put my hard hat on and I go to work every single day like the rest of them. I just want to lead those guys as much as they would like me to lead.”
The team practices are reportedly filled with lots of laughing and joking around, which has greatly helped build stronger on-court chemistry. Any time you have a superstar who can relate with other individuals on a personal level, good things are bound to happen.
With all the players seemingly on the same page, the purple and gold are primed to take a huge leap forward in their quest to reclaim basketball immortality. LeBron James and company are out to bring Showtime back to Hollywood.