LeBron James: “We need to improve in defense”
The Los Angeles Lakers star talked about the improvement the team needs to do ahead of the start of the 2022/23 NBA season.
Los Angeles Lakers held their media day activities on 26 September at their facilities located in El Segundo, California ahead of the start of the 2022/23 NBA regular season. There are a lot of doubts surrounding the purple and gold this year and with the decision the franchise made about extending LeBron James’ contract for two more years, with a player option for a third one.
The 37-year-old talked to the media about the improvements the LA Lakers need to make in order to aspire to win their 18th title this campaign. The purple and gold are one of the most successful teams in the history of the league and that is why there is always pressure for them to win the NBA championship each season.
Lakers will focus on defense
“We need to improve in defense and obviously we need to be able to put the ball in the hole for sure. In our league the teams that can defend and make stops when needed are simply more successful in our league. So the defensive side of the floor is what we are going to be hammering on every single day and understanding that we can defend, keep them to one shot and rebounds and secure the ball puts us in a position to be successful throughout the season,” said James on Monday’s annual media day.
Anthony Davis’ health
The Los Angeles Lakers star power forward is seen around the league as an injury-prone player and he has earned the nickname ‘street-clothes’ because he is often seen wearing civilian garb during the most important games of the season. Last year he dealt with a right knee, foot, thumb, groin, adductor muscle and wrist injuries that forced him to miss a chunk of games, which didn’t help the Lakers in their aspirations to be a competitive team.
“Honestly I did the same exact thing I did last season. I had two injuries that you can’t really control because a guy fell into my knee, landed on the foot and the good thing for me is that the doctors said that it could’ve been ten times worse if I hadn’t done what I did in the summer. So that is reassuring right there, but for the most part I continue to do the same thing and I had a little more time, two extra months, because we didn’t make playoffs, to let my body rest and heal,” said Anthony Davis.
Russell Westbrook’s role this year
Another big question is what role Russell Westbrook will be playing under new manager Darvin Ham after a disappointing first year with the purple and gold. The LA Lakers decided to bring back the point guard for a second season despite the rumors of a possible trade with two first-round picks that would be included in the swap.
“Honestly I am myself every single day when I wake up. Basketball wise I would do what is best for the team, doing whatever is asked from me and I will continue to do that, just be the best person I could possibly be,” said Westbrook. “We have been talking [With LeBron and Davis] about the things we want to do and how we want to do them. Last year we only played a certain amount of games together, so going into this season we talked about finding ways to be successful was definitely a conversation we had.”