When LeBron James first signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, a concern that many people shared was that he wouldn’t be able to properly get along with the young core due to the significant age gap.
At 34-year-old, his teammates were Lonzo Ball (21), Brandon Ingram (21), Kyle Kuzma (23), and Josh Hart (24).
Getting along on and off the court didn’t seem to be an issue for James. In fact, James often complimented the young core and showed his dedication to working with them throughout the 2018-19 NBA season.
However, even James had to admit that there was an adjustment period when he first arrived in Los Angeles. He especially had trouble getting used to the music that Ball, Ingram, and Kuzma listened to, via HBO’s “The Shop”:
“When I first joined the team this year with Zo, B.I., and Kuz and the music that they were listening to… I had no… and you know I listen to everybody. If somebody drop an album, I’m going to listen to it. Good or bad whatever the case may be, I’ma give it a shot. If it’s good, you’re going to see me in the back of the car booming that [expletive]. Everybody’s always saying, ‘Man, LeBron like everything.’ Nah [expletive], if you haven’t heard your music, it ain’t good.”
James is extremely up to date on pop culture, but even he struggled to initially keep up with young core’s music taste.
While James was struggling with the age gap, the young core had their own struggles as well. For example, Ball was playing with someone who he’s been open about being his all-time favorite player.
Ball spoke about the adjustment period of playing with James, saying that it took almost the whole season to get comfortable being in the locker room with him:
“Honestly, I didn’t really get comfortable with you until after All-Star. I was kinda on edge. I didn’t know how to be around him. I never really been around somebody that I looked up to like that. I seen him around the locker room and it was crazy.”
The beauty of James signing a four-year deal is that now they can go into the 2019-20 season fully comfortable with one another — provided nobody gets traded.
Right now, it seems unlikely that any member of the young core will be traded unless it’s for Anthony Davis or Bradley Beal, two potential deals that have significant roadblocks to even complete the trade.