Despite dropping to 1-2, Lakers’ LeBron James encouraged by team’s ‘really good moments’

Dave McMenaminESPN Staff WriterOct 30, 2023, 02:49 AM ET3 Minute Read

SACRAMENTO — LeBron James was greeted by a framed photo next to his locker, a gift from the Los Angeles Lakers commemorating his NBA debut 20 years ago against the Sacramento Kings. The photo captured James’ memorable rookie season dunk, and he managed to replicate the same impressive move during the Lakers’ recent game against the Kings.

James reflected on the significance of the moment, stating, “It’s pretty special I’m still doing it and I’m playing the game that I love. To have a breakaway … some pretty cool correlation, for sure.”

As part of the gesture, the Lakers included a bottle of 2003 vintage Celler Vall Llach wine. Despite the loss to the Kings, James did not plan on drowning his sorrows in the wine. He expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance, highlighting their resilience in coming back from a 15-point deficit.

Although James had a few turnovers in overtime, his overall performance was remarkable. He scored 27 points on 11-for-19 shooting, grabbed 15 rebounds, and provided 8 assists. These numbers were reminiscent of his debut game, where he recorded 25 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 turnovers.

Both James and Lakers coach Darvin Ham expressed optimism about the team’s chances this season. Ham acknowledged the need to fine-tune the rotation for better chemistry and emphasized his responsibility in sorting out the lineup. He also mentioned the challenges of incorporating new players into the team.

Despite the loss, Anthony Davis remained positive, noting that the team is in a good rhythm and just needs to keep pushing forward. He brushed off the shooting struggles of Austin Reaves and acknowledged the impact of the Kings’ three-point shooting in overtime.

Ham’s remarks about James’ playing time exceeded the team’s guidelines, adding a sense of urgency for the upcoming back-to-back game against the Orlando Magic. Ham emphasized the importance of balancing rest with competitive performance.


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