LeBron James is not a fan of the NBA preseason games as the Los Angeles Lakers superstar noted there is “nothing at all” he can learn from the contests. James emphasized that he does think the practices are important but does not see the games as a significant part of the evolution of the team.
“I don’t know, I just want to continue to play ball, just continue to work our habits, things of that nature,” James explained on October 9 after the Lakers’ preseason loss to the Warriors. “Preseason is, I care more about the practice quarters, and I do not care about the preseason games. You get out there you play on rotations that they’re trying to figure out.
“So, it’s so much that you can get out of a preseason game for me individually, but I love our practices. I love to see what we’re doing and continue to work behind closed doors. So, I don’t know, I don’t really put too much into preseason, to be honest.”
James and Russell Westbrook took the floor for the first time as Lakers teammates. Westbrook notched two points, seven rebounds and four assists in 17 minutes of action. James had nine points, three rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes during his first time teaming up with the newest Lakers star.
The Lakers again struggled defensively in their third straight preseason loss, allowing 121 points to Golden State. The Lakers rank 28th in preseason defensive efficiency this year, according to NBA.com stats, and have allowed 120.3 points per game.
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
LeBron on Preseason Games: ‘I’m Not Gonna Learn Anything, Nothing, I Mean Zero’
James’ comments about the preseason may seem harsh, but with the All-Star’s resume, it is hard to argue. For a four-time NBA champion, 17-time All-Star and four-time MVP, it is understandable why preseason games may seem a little hollow.
James doubled down on his comments comparing preseason games to the immediacy that practices can offer the team to correct things. The Lakers star noted that he learns “zero” from the preseason matchups.
“It means something as far as like individuals getting their rhythm, getting [in] game shape,” James added. “We have our practices but being on the floor and bumping against another team and things of that nature, that helps. I was saying for me, there’s nothing I’m gonna learn in preseason at this point in my career, nothing at all. I’m not gonna learn anything, nothing, I mean zero, but working on habits and building camaraderie and chemistry on the floor and that’s always good.
“But as I said, I love the practices more than the preseason games because you can make the mistakes and you figure out right there. You’re able to stop it and let’s talk about it and go back and rewatch the things. You can do that obviously the next day after appreciating the game, but you can do it right on the fly [during] practices. So, I’m more inclined to love those more at this point. There’s nothing on the floor that I’m gonna learn, me individually.”
Westbrook: ‘Everything’s Not Gonna Be Figured out in the Next Week or Two’
Unlike James, Westbrook declined to make any definitive statements about the preseason, but the star noted that what fans see during games is far from a finished product. The Lakers point guard emphasized that he plans to exercise patience as he learns how to play with his new teammates.
“I mean, we’re not gonna figure it out right now. Everything’s not gonna be figured out in the next week or two,” Westbrook explained in his postgame press conference. “So, [we] got a long year, this the preseason, [the] first game for a lot of us, well since April, May or something like that. So, we’ll figure it out.”