LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – LeBron James says the Los Angeles Lakers can have success this season without winning a championship.
James made his first significant public appearance since joining the Lakers with a 13-minute news conference at media day in El Segundo. The superstar acknowledged he’s excited for his first real practice Tuesday with his new teammates, saying it’s like “the first day of school.”
But after leading his teams to the past eight consecutive NBA Finals, James made it clear he doesn’t share the championship-or-bust mentality espoused by Kobe Bryant. James acknowledged the Golden State Warriors and other title contenders are years ahead of the Lakers, and he’s more interested in controlling how his new team prepares for success this season.
When asked whether his move to Tinseltown was motivated more by his career outside basketball, James said it came down to two factors: “My decision was based solely on my family and the Lakers.”
Lakers president Earvin “Magic” Johnson says he’s already impressed with the 14-time All-Star.
“His aura, his winning attitude, the way he goes about his business,” said Johnson. “You see him on the court but also in the weight room he’s the same way….I’m excited.”
Dallas and Philadelphia got their media-day responsibilities out of the way late last week, because they are off to China for preseason games soon.
The other 28 teams will have availabilities throughout the day.
Golden State will be asked about the quest to win a third straight title. Minnesota will be talking about Karl-Anthony Towns’ new super-max $190 million deal and Jimmy Butler’s trade demand.
The 28 teams with media days Monday all open training camp Tuesday.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)