With LeBron James’ arrival to the Los Angeles Lakers comes the biggest set of expectations that the purple and gold have had for five years. After half a decade of missing out on the NBA playoffs – the longest such stretch in franchise history – the Lakers are expected to be back in the postseason behind the greatest player in the world. How far they can get after that fact, however, is a mystery.
On Monday, LeBron made his first public comments since joining the Lakers at the press conference to initiate his new school for underprivileged children in Akron, Ohio. While James harped on the team reaching a point it has not been to in quite some time, he was careful to place unnecessary expectation on a roster full of young players and veterans signed to one-year deals.
This is a smart move from James whose every move is calculated for future success. The Lakers will have expectations placed on them from the outside, anyway, and nearly every outcome will be seen as a disappointment. There’s no reason for James to pile on.
Instead, LeBron has been complimentary of his new teammates, especially the young core, hoping to motivate them for success. If they do not match his own expectations, James won’t hesitate to force the Lakers hands in bringing him more established help. But for now, James will roll with this group and hope they can grow into being useful pieces for a team with higher goals.