For the first time since the 2009-10 season, LeBron James started off the NBA regular season with back-to-back losses. While it might be easy for a player of his caliber to get frustrated with a still developing Los Angeles Lakers team, James knew what he signed up for going into the season.
Following shootaround on Monday, James told reporters that he understands it’s going to take some time before the Lakers figure things out.
“It’s a new group for all of us together, so I don’t think it’s going to be in the first couple weeks,” James said. “I think it’s going to take us a while to understand what it’s going to take for us to be the team that we want to be. We’re going to have some rough patches, and we’re going to have some good patches, and then at some point it’s going to click for us and we’re going to know ‘this is who we are, and this is what we need to do to be great and put ourselves in a position to win every night.’”
This is far from the first time James has made comments like this. In fact, prior to their home opener on Saturday, James assured Lakers fans that they’re not the same team they’re going to be in “January or February.” However, these comments hold a little extra weight coming off of two consecutive losses to open the season.
Despite the fact that the Lakers are winless nearly a week into the season, James thinks the team is on the right track to getting to where they need to be.
“We have room to improve, and that’s a good thing,” James said. “We’ve been in a position to win both games. In Portland and at home. It was a one-point game at one point at home, and we didn’t get the stops we needed to get and they made shots. In Portland, we had a good chance to win as well and then the same thing happened at home.
“We’re going to learn from those moments. I think the best teacher in life is experience,” James said. “We’ve experienced that the first two games, and we want to continue to learn.”
As the season goes on, it’s going to be interesting to see how James’ tone changes, assuming it does.
At this stage of the season, it’s easy to make comments about staying patient and roughing it out with the roster. But if the Lakers are still struggling come February, it’s not hard to imagine James — who has said he’s “not a very patient guy,” — starting to become increasingly passive aggressive, as he’s been known to do in the past.
Until that happens, James will remain committed to helping the Lakers in any way he can, but it would be in the team’s best interest not to test how patient he can be.
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