The term ‘legend’ is overly used, especially in sporting circles, but when it comes to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James the word is more than accurate. The 36-year-old will have been disappointed by the way his side limply gave up their NBA title, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns, and will be keen to get back to winning ways this time around.
LeBron’s push for yet another NBA Championship will have been helped by the great work done by general manager Rob Pelinka to improve the Lakers roster. In came Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and a number of other strong performers who should be able to assist in a push for a long drive into the postseason.
A quick glance at the betting odds with sidelines.io comparison service shows that the Lakers are now second only to the Brooklyn Nets to lift the NBA title. They currently sit at (+400), with the Nets at (+250) and the likes of last year’s winners Milwaukee Bucks and the Golden State Warriors sitting firmly behind.
With LeBron James into his 19th season, one has to wonder what the great man has left to achieve, and therefore what motivates the four-time NBA champion. The fact that Frank Vogel has a strong roster will certainly help get James focused after a poor season.
When questioned about his goals, James recently responded;
“Just motivated to have an opportunity to win a championship,” James adding.
“That’s why I play the game. It’s one of the greatest shortest feelings that you have. You win a championship and everything that you put into that year just hits you all at once, and literally, like a couple of hours later, it’s like it’s over. You just see a whole time you’re just trying to figure out how you can get that moment again. Seriously! That’s part of my motivation still. Just always trying to get that feeling.
“It’s like when you go to Cedar Point. The greatest amusement park in the world and you ride the greatest ride, and that ride is taking its damn well time to get to the top, and you are there in total excitement, and you finally go down that hill. And you’re like, ‘Okay. I want to ride it again, but it will take you three hours to get back on that ride.’ I would just rather go somewhere else, so that’s kind of like the moment of winning a championship.”
It would be entirely understandable if the hunger wasn’t still there; after all, we are talking about a player who has spent almost two decades at the top, but it appears LeBron James is still very much an individual who has targets to meet.
On how he has matured, both on and off the court, LeBron continued;
“Yeah, I’ve gotten a little bit more patient with the process as the years went on. I joined D-Wade almost 11 years ago and then Kyrie [Irving] about seven years ago, so I was at a different point in my life. I got to realize I went to Miami when I was 25 years old.”
“I was still figuring out who I was as a person—figuring out what I wanted in life. Then I was 29 when I teamed up with Kyrie. 36 going on 37 now. My life is pretty much set. I know who I am, I know what I bring to the table, I know how to put myself and put guys around me in a position to be successful and not get too high or get too low—just going to stay even-keeled.
“I didn’t even drink wine yet when I teamed up with D-Wade or Kyrie. Or tequila. Weird. That lets you know right there, and then I’m a totally different person.”
The Lakers’ aging team has led some to rule out their chances, but fans of the team shouldn’t be too concerned. The squad available to Vogel is more than capable of making an impact in the short term, and that’s clearly where the focus is right now for both the Lakes and LeBron.