“I love everything that’s going on with our ball club and this franchise since I got here,” James told reporters.
On Sunday, after the Lakers’ most recent win, James might have tipped off the major reasons he’s been so pleased.
“I think we are just getting better every game. I’ve been harping on [that] every game is another learning experience for us,” James said. “It’s fun to win. We learn from our mistakes when we lose, and we learn from our mistakes when we win, but we know what’s winning basketball for us, and that’s defending and sharing the ball.”
The Lakers haven’t shared the ball as much as Walton wants — he’s repeatedly called 300 passes per game a goal, and the Lakers have only averaged 254.9 per contest, which ranks third-lowest in the league — but the team has shared the ball effectively. The Lakers’ 23.9 assists per game rank in the upper half of the league (13th to be exact), an impressive level of success given how much less they pass than most teams.
The Lakers have also made plenty of mistakes — their 16.1 turnovers per game ranks fourth-worst in the league — but they’ve also done enough winning despite those miscues to keep James happy, as their 14-9 record ranks fifth in the Western Conference and just two games back of first place despite a rough start to the season.
So when looking at all those numbers, it’s no wonder James “loves” what the Lakers have done so far, or that he’s impressed with their progress. As long as they can keep trending upwards, the whole team and it’s huge fanbase will have no choice but to continue to mirror James’ contentment.