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Podcast: Previewing LeBron James before his first Lakers season

Lakers fans should be getting ready to watch a truly special talent play this year. Can LeBron James meet those expectations though?

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2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As detailed in yesterday’s Locked on Lakers, episodes will be coming a little more often than originally planned. So, to kick off our series of season previews, we hit the ground running with LeBron James, who is [checks notes] still very good at basketball and exponentially improves the Los Angeles Lakers across the board immediately upon his arrival.

As with the player seasons in review earlier this offseason, we start by offering as much context as we can. While we can’t necessarily offer context in the same way we did for that series (we focused on expectations heading into last season), we can look back on last year and seasons before that to properly set expectations.

LeBron is heading into uncharted territory. For the first time either Pete or I can recall, his team has basement-level expectations. We discuss that, and what that might do for his approach to the campaign, as well as how his teammates are handling that analysis. It’s a fascinating dynamic.

In the second segment, we focus on what to expect from James, the individual player. The Lakers have spoken at length about lightening his load on both ends compared to what he had to do in Cleveland over the last few seasons, but is that a legitimate goal to aim for? If they succeed in the attempt, what might LeBron’s game look like? Again, this is really, really interesting to consider.

As something of a segue, we discuss how open LeBron might be to this style of system design. Concepts like those discussed thus far this summer are great as ideas, but in practice, players might revert to what they’re comfortable with. Might we see that with James?

We spend the final segment discussing LeBron in the team construct and how he’ll impact various aspects of the organization. In the show’s last few minutes, Pete and I basically sit back and discuss what it is we’re most looking forward to in regards to LeBron, which was tough to narrow down.

As always, this is just a tidbit of the full context given in the show. Listen to the full discussion below and please check out old episodes or guarantee you won’t miss any ever again by subscribing on iTunes.