With a whole new roster headlined by LeBron James and Anthony Davis and a new head coach, the Los Angeles Lakers will be at a slight disadvantage to other championship contenders the Western Conference like the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and LA Clippers.
In an effort to combat that, James is organizing his own minicamp for the team ahead of the official team training camp in September, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
League sources tell me that LeBron James has started organizing a team minicamp in Las Vegas in September days before the start of Lakers training camp. It’s meant to galvanize and bond this Lakers unit right before the start of the real training camp that begins in Los Angeles in September.
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times provided additional details in his report:
The sessions will be at Impact Basketball and are scheduled for Sept. 22-26. Each training session will last about 2 1/2 hours. The players will stay at the Wynn, and each is paying his own way.
With eight new players on the Lakers’ roster, James wanted to get together early because of a condensed training camp that includes a trip to China. James hopes they get to know one another’s games in a closed environment in preparation for training camp and a rigorous 82-game schedule . After the practices, they will have team dinners.
According to Turner, every player is expected to attend.
This isn’t the first time James has hosted his own minicamp. In fact, during his second go-round with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’d organize these summer workouts almost every year.
This is, however, the first time he’s done it with the Lakers, and it makes sense why James waited until his second season in L.A. to do it.
Last season, James, in spite of seniority, was a newcomer in Los Angeles and, as such, adapted to the habits the team already had in place, such as having workouts at UCLA Health Training Center. Now, with most of the young players on different teams, James is unequivocally the leader of the Lakers, or at least one of them.
Coming off of a season where his leadership, drive and ability was questioned, it seems as though James isn’t willing to wait on anyone to build championship habits and with a veteran-heavy team this season, he won’t have to.