With the 2018-19 NBA season approaching, one of the many questions will be how the Los Angeles Lakers will play after signing LeBron James.
Considering James is set to turn 34 years old during his 16th season, some may not consider the Lakers keeping their fast pace under head coach Luke Walton would be the best approach. However, James is prepared for as much.
“Watching these guys from the outside looking in, the level of pace they play with, I’m excited to get up and down and run with them,” he said at Lakers Media Day.
“My game will not change no matter who I’m alongside. I believe my game fan fit with anybody. I’m a team-first guy, I love passing the ball.”
James reiterated that stance during Lakers training camp, drawing a parallel to his time with the Miami Heat. “I think it will be kind of similar to Miami in the sense we started with our defense and then got out and ran,” he explained.
“When you get out and run, you’re able to get down the floor before they can set their defense. To be able to get stops and get out and run, you’re able to get down the floor before a defense can set up.”
Walton has made it clear the Lakers intend to “play fast” again this season. With that, he conceded there’s a possibility for the team’s pace to be a tick slower, the same, or perhaps faster, than last season.
Much of that will be predicated on how the players gel. The Lakers have several ball handlers on the roster, which should allow for them to get in the open floor with plenty of ease. “We have a very deep team, we have a lot of guys who can push the ball,” Walton said.
“When you have that type of team, it’s a big advantage to push it down and make. If it’s faster or slower than last year, we’ll get to know our team.”
As James is perhaps the greatest all-around player of all time, he will adjust his game to get the best out of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. While James has shown he can win games by himself, he will need the young core to make deep playoff runs as he ages.