The preseason predictions for the Lakers were a mixed bag. Some thought there just wasn’t enough talent there, while many others simply believed in LeBron James’ abilities so much, they thought he would be enough. But regardless of how people believed the Lakers would end up, everyone agreed that the early part of the season would be strange.
That was certainly the case. The Lakers lost their first three games, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram were ejected in their home opener for throwing punches vs. the Rockets and Magic Johnson had a contentious meeting with head coach Luke Walton. All of that, the losing and the drama, was nearly too much for LeBron James. A few weeks ago he told our own Reid Forgrave, “You probably don’t want to be around when my patience runs out.”
In a recent interview, LeBron now admits he “almost cracked,” before reminding himself of the long-term plans in Los Angeles. Via Yahoo Sports:
”I haven’t changed anything outwardly, but you know me. You know how I am. I almost cracked [last week]. I had to sit back and remind myself, ‘[Expletive], you knew what you were getting yourself into,'” James told Yahoo Sports while laughing after Saturday’s win in Sacramento. “This process has been good for me. I just have to continue being patient.”
”I had to regroup and remember this is a young team,” James told Yahoo Sports. “We’re playing some good ball right now and we’re starting to build some good habits. That’s all that matters right now.”
After losing their first three games of the season, the Lakers have gone 7-3 in their last 10, including a current three-game winning streak. There are clearly still problems — especially on the defensive end — but the addition of Tyson Chandler has given them some added rim protection and another presence inside. Whether he’s able to keep it up all season remains to be seen, but he’s been helpful so far.
It’s little surprise that the first few weeks for the new-look Lakers were rough, nor is it a surprise that LeBron had a hard time dealing with the struggles. He’s had rough times in the past, but he hasn’t been on a non-Finals contender for nearly a decade. That takes some getting used to.
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