In the months that have followed LeBron James‘ decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, there has been much scrutiny as to why he came to that decision over the summer.
James has remained firm on the course that it was best for his family and purely a basketball decision. Following Wednesday’s 123-113 win over the Golden State Warriors in preseason action, he also made it clear that the Warriors or neither the NBA Finals streak factored into his choice, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
“Nah, that was never a thought,” James told Yahoo Sports after posting 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 18 minutes in a 123-113 victory over the back-to-back champs at T-Mobile Arena. “I don’t really buy into [defeat]. I feel like with me on the floor, I can compete versus anybody individually. But at the end of the day, in order to win, your teams have to be great. Individuals are very great, but in order to win a championship, you have to have great teams.”
The 33-year-old has plenty of familiarity playing against the Warriors in the last four consecutive NBA Finals where he got to the short end of the stick three times over that span. This move not only puts him in the same conference as Golden State but also directly in the same division as them throughout the duration of his deal.
The fact that James stated that the Warriors were not a part of his free agency decision shows that he was thinking much further than just that. At the same time, this gives him a first-hand look at what his team needs in order to compete for an NBA title that will go through getting past Golden State.
Beyond that, this sets up some highly intriguing matchups between the two franchise over the next several years.
Bob Garcia IV
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