LeBron James is ready to get back on the championship trail, as evident from the Los Angeles Lakers star’s latest Instagram post that put the rest of the NBA on notice.
The King took to social media to make a statement on Sunday night with the NBA restart on the horizon, writing: “WAR READY!!! #RevengeSeasonContinuesSoon.”
Before the season was put on hold, James had put together a MVP-caliber season. In his 17th season, James was averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and a career-best 10.6 assists, taking over the primary ball handing duties in Los Angeles.
James been sporting a long beard and grown out hair in quarantine, but has been staying in shape. The four-time MVP has some tread on his tired with more than 1,500 games played in his career — 1,258 in the regular season and 239 in the playoffs — but looks more than ready to lead the Lakers’ quest for a 17th championship.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said in a recent press conference that he’s been excited seeing the James and fellow Lakers star Anthony Davis work in practice.
“You come in and you don’t expect what it’s going to feel like to see those guys, but watching them work and to see what they’re capable of doing, and just thinking back of where we were at,” Vogel said. “It gives me a great deal of confidence about what we’re about to endure in terms of going down to Orlando and closer to the playoff setting and into the playoffs, what we can accomplish. Just watching those guys work gives me a great deal of confidence.”
LeBron James Shared Concerns About Long Layoff
The NBA season is set to resume on July 30 in Orlando with 22 teams in action. All teams will play three scrimmages from July 22-28 before the restart officially tips off with the eight seeding games. The playoffs will follow.
While many believed the extra rest would be beneficial for James, he revealed on the Road Trippin’ Podcast with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye that it was quite the opposite.
“When you’ve been building six months of conditioning and preparation and then (it’s gone), the narrative that I don’t like (is), ‘Well, now guys get so much rest.’ Or, like, ‘LeBron, he’s 35, he’s got so many minutes on his body, now he gets so much rest,'” James said on the podcast. “It’s actually the opposite for me because my body, when we stopped playing, was asking me, like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’
“My body was like, ‘Hey man, what the hell is going on? It’s March 13, you’re getting ready for the playoffs, why are you shutting down right now?’ And I was right there turning the corner, like, I felt like I was rounding third base, getting ready for the postseason.
Lakers Favorite for Championship
At the time of the stoppage, the Lakers led the Western Conference with a 49-14 record and were a top title contender behind James and Anthony Davis. Despite losing starting guard Avery Bradley, that remains the same.
The Lakers are the favorite to take home the title at +200, per Odds Shark. The Milwaukee Bucks (+280) and Los Angeles Clippers (+300) are the next in line before a big drop off, with the Celtics at +1200.
“I think it’s kind of the same,” Davis said about Lakers’ title chances, per Mike Trudell. “Obviously we’ll miss [Avery Bradley], but we have guys that are healthy, guys that are ready to go. Actually I think our chances are higher because we’re all rested. It’s going to be who wants it more.”
What may swing the odds is a rash of positive COVID-19 tests at various team facilities this week. Both the Bucks and Clippers shut down their buildings after positive tests and its unknown if players’ availability will be affected.