Lebron James’ agent and friend has stated that the move to Los Angeles was a “basketball decision”. Lebron also recently bought a 23 million dollar mansion in Brentwood that some may say goes against his traditionally non-flashy and almost frugal lifestyle. Does splurging on this extravagant Los Angeles home indicate that the California, rich and famous ‘party’ lifestyle has taken root in King James?
The Los Angeles Lakers are now second behind the Golden State Warriors to win the Pacific Division at top betting sites like Bovada. But How much impact will Lebron have? Will his work ethic be the same in Tinsel Town now that he is starting down the backside of his career?
The answer to this isn’t clear. No one but Lebron James can speak to his thoughts and intentions. Perhaps, Lebron himself doesn’t quite know how he’ll be affected by the City of Angels. But one thing we can count on is that whether you like him or not, he is a competitor at heart. And he is one of the best athletes to come around in any major sport ever.
So with that said, the best we can do is speculate. Even if Lebron James’ eye isn’t completely on the ball, and the Lakers only get 75%, it is still enough to impact this Lakers squad positively and put them into playoff contention. The Lakers have a lot of fresh, young talent but have lacked leadership and above all … defense. An athlete like Lebron will not only inspire the younger players to be better and work harder, but he is likely to take an active leadership role on the team just as he has during his stints on the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.
But it isn’t just Lebron that can help shape this young team and add locker room presence. Rajon Rondo is one of the better point guards to have played the game. Yes, he is older and isn’t going to be the impact player that he once was, but he adds depth off the bench and a lot of experience that he can impart to the younger guys on the team. Lance Stephenson is another element that will help the younger guys to grow. He isn’t what most would call a leader, but he might be able to impart some defensive inspiration to help the purple and yellow to chip away at 109.6 points allowed per game (5th worst defense) that the Los Angeles Lakers averaged last season.
We all know the Lakers can score and with Lebron James in the mix, LA’s scoring isn’t going to suffer. They just need to figure out a way slow down the other teams. This isn’t an easy task in the Western Conference. Teams like Golden State average 112 points per games, the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans put up 111 on average (though that is likely to drop off a bit with Cousins now on the Warriors).
The bottom line. Will Lebron’s new Los Angeles lifestyle affect the Lakers? Probably not in any sort of negative way. But Lebron presence in the Staples Center and wearing the purple and yellow will undoubtedly affect the Lakers in a positive way. Are they going to ride off into the sunset as the Western Conference winners in 2018-19? Most likely not. The Warriors still own the west. But the Lebron will make the Lakers playoff bound for the first time in five seasons.