Anytime LeBron James joins a new team, a huge swath of extra media follows to peruse every move he makes or quote he gives with a CSI investigator-level of scrutiny and certainty about what it all means.
The Los Angeles Lakers are no different in that respect since James joined, and also no strangers to gigantic amounts of attention. So it wasn’t a surprise when tons of talking heads went on T.V. and predicted all kinds of drama for the 2018-19 season.
Some of that drama has come to pass, but it was between the front office and coaching staff rather than the war between veterans and young players that was popular to predict.
That clash may still come — the season is young, and so is the Lakers’ young core — but JaVale McGee doesn’t seem to think it will. During an appearance on “Fair Game,” McGee told host Kristine Leahy of FS1 that the Lakers’ players are a relaxed bunch that aren’t that prone to disagreements. Or even doing anything all that interesting:
McGee: “It might be one of the chillest locker rooms I’ve ever been in. We’re low-key boring to tell the truth.”
Leahy: “No way.”
McGee: “I promise, nothing ever happens. Like we never get in any arguments, we never fight, we never cry about anything.”
It’s always dangerous to judge a team’s chemistry simply based off of limited time in the locker room and at practice, but that caveat noted, this does seem to be the closest-knit Lakers team I’ve covered in my four-ish years being credentialed. There doesn’t seem to be any cliquishness, all the guys seem to enjoy ribbing each other equally during their postgame scrums, and this team just genuinely seems to like one another. Not that previous teams didn’t, this just seems to be more across the board than in years past.
Like I noted above, that doesn’t mean that the Lakers won’t have any drama this year, or even that I’m right about them seeming closer. But McGee’s statement would seem to back up the sentiment, and if the Lakers actually have and can maintain that type of chemistry, it would be a solid first step towards reaching their full potential with a roster that still doesn’t have much experience together.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.