LeBron James took on a different kind of role last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, playing point-forward and showing off that he can truly do anything he puts his mind to, leading the NBA in assists as the team’s primary ball-handler.
“Every year causes for whatever that challenge presents itself,” James told reporters on Tuesday. “So, if it presents to me to be the primary ball handler and also try to lead the league in assists or to make sure I am being at the forefront of getting guys involved, then I can take that responsibility every single action. If our team doesn’t need that this year, then that’s absolutely fine as well.”
LeBron James Was ‘Pissed Off’ About MVP Last Season
James is still churning out MVP-type numbers as he enters his 18th season. He averaged 25.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and league-leading 10.2 assists last year, finishing runner-up to Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Finishing second in the MVP race is something that did not sit well for James last year and he could make a run at his fifth with the Laker primed for a repeat effort.
“Pissed me off. That’s my true answer. It pissed me off because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That’s what pissed me off more than anything. Not saying that the winner wasn’t deserving of the MVP. But that pissed me off,” James said during the playoff run when the MVP voting was announced.
“I finished second a lot in my career, either as a championship or now four times as the MVP, you know, like I said, I never came into this league saying I’m gonna be MVP or be a champion, I just want to get better and better every day and those things will take care of itself. But there are some things out of your hands, some things you can’t control. But it pissed me off.”
LeBron James, Anthony Davis Set to Make Preseason Debut
After sitting out the first two preseason games, James and his Lakers co-star Anthony Davis are set to make their preseason debuts against the Phoenix Suns. Lakers coach Frank Vogel revealed the decision on Tuesday.
“I do plan on playing AD and LeBron some first-half minutes, but just to kind of get their feet wet,” Vogel told reporters.
James and Davis have not seen live action on the court since the NBA Finals. It’s been a condensed offseason, but with so many new faces in purple and gold, it’s time for the team’s two stars to start getting acquainted.
“I just want to see them go out and try to get a rhythm,” Vogel said. “Get comfortable with some of their new teammates and try to get their legs under them a little bit. We’ve been trying to intentionally every day monitor the amount of work put on those guys after the shortest offseason in history, and that will be no different with these next two preseason games.”
After a pair of preseason games against the Suns, the Lakers will kick off the regular season against the Clippers on Dec. 22.