Welcome to the West, Lebron James!
Lebron James has won multiple MVPs, won multiple titles, 13 NBA All-Star appearances, eight straight Finals appearances, and is in the conversation of who is the GOAT? He’s done it all, but one thing that keeps holding him back from being claimed The Greatest of All-time, is that he has these accomplishments in an era where the East is a far inferior Conference than the Western.
That leads skeptics to think he couldn’t possibly appear to as many Finals if he were in the West. Debates on whether or not we should have 1-16 playoff seeding regardless of conference have been a major topic due to this type of success. Lebron James is now putting himself to the test by not just going to the West, but going to a LA Lakers team who hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2013.
The King moves to LA.
Lebron is now rocking the purple and gold in the old Showtime Lakers threads under the bright lights of LA. He joins a team who has been underwhelming the past few years, but full of young talent with a lot of potential, including Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball. He also brought in some veterans such as Lance Stephenson, Javale Mcgee, and Rajon Rondo. Rondo brings a leadership presence that can help ease the load off Lebron, but by no means he’s no Dwyane Wade. This collection of talent may not be enough to contend in most eyes, but Lebron has done the most with little to nothing, and he is now ready take this Lakers tour on the road to a city near you!
ESPN presents Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in Staples Center for the first time. It is game two of the season and already Lebron faces yet another playoff contender. A sold-out Staples Center was rocking, waiting to see Lebron go up against a legitimate title contender and reigning MVP James Harden and a fresh look Rockets team. You have to hand it to LA they really know to put on an intro and if you were watching on ESPN you had an inside look of the special presentation.
This was more than an opening-night, this night had such electricity in the air you easily can get swept into the hype. In front of 18,997 fans in the building this special night did not disappoint. If you thought this stadium was loud, throughout the game it amped up in the fourth quarter with 4:13 left to play. The Rockets were up by 109-108, when Brandon Ingram in frustration shoved James Harden after he was called for a foul. This was a light skirmish compared to what happened just 20 feet away when Rondo allegedly spit on Chris Paul’s face and the fists started flying. Stars such as Floyd Mayweather were courtside smiling ear to ear, this game truly had it all.
Showtime Is Back
Despite the 124-115 loss to the Rockets, Lebron proved that he is not afraid of the West and he has a team that can compete. Lebron will always do his own thing, leading his team with 24 points, he also ended the game with five boards and five assists. The most important thing is he brought out the potential in his teammates that really highlighted their attributes. Seven other teammates reached double digits in points, most notably Javale Mcgee who seems to take advantage of this bigger role than he had in Golden State with an efficient 7-11 FG for 16 points. Rajon Rondo finished the game with a double-double with 13 points and ten assists.
Although 0-2, this Lebron led team has provided excitement that hasn’t been there since Kobe was competing for championships. Tickets to see The Lakers does not come cheap, the average price for the Lakers debut against the Rockets was an insane $934. Second most expensive ticket is the Christmas game against Golden State which is just over $700. If you don’t make it to the game, you can only wish you had, because Lebron joining the Lakers just might be the best entertainment we didn’t know the NBA needed.