At 14-9, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are currently fifth in the Western Conference, an impressive feat given their sluggish 2-5 start.
After some growing pains and adjustments, James looks to finally be settling in as a Laker. He has ramped it up as of late, often taking over games when Los Angeles needs him the most.
While it is good to see the purple and gold winning games, it is important for the Lakers front office and the coaching staff to not tax the 33-year-old so early into the 2018-19 NBA season. James has proven durable throughout his career, but the risk on injury always lingers.
“It’s a test of Bron’s patience and also doing what he needs to do to keep the team’s head above water,” Bryant told Lakers play-by-play announcer Bill MacDonald at the “All-Access” event. “So, it’s a balancing act. They were struggling, Bron got the ball, took control, decided to start playing point, doing everything, doing everything.
“That’s not the recipe for winning championships by no means, but it is a recipe to keep your head above water, to give yourself a little breathing room, and now it’s going back to teaching how to play the way that we want to play.”
James himself noted that he is still having difficulty between taking over and deferring to his younger teammates. He demands so much attention when he has the ball, but it is clear the young core also needs reps in crunch time to make plays.
However, head coach Luke Walton and the team are not going to complain about wins given how tight the standings are. Only a few games separate the Lakers from the best record, so they may have no choice but to ride James until the end of the season.
Winners of their last seven out of ten games, the purple and gold will be looking to extend their successful stretch of basketball. They get a chance to redeem one of their earlier losses when they take on the San Antonio Spurs in back-to-back games at home and on the road.