Despite having another week of vacation left, the Los Angeles Lakers are all expected to get together in Las Vegas this week for a minicamp organized by LeBron James.
The goal of the camp is for the team to gain some of the cohesion they’re lacking in comparison to the other title contenders in the Western Conference. That may seem like a relatively small issue, but both Danny Green and head coach Frank Vogel have repeatedly expressed the importance of team chemistry going into the season.
It should come as no surprise then that Vogel is a fan of James rallying the troops before the team’s official training camp on Sunday. During a recent interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, Vogel said that he thinks the minicamp will be invaluable to the Lakers both on and off the court:
MT: There are reports of LeBron setting up a little minicamp in Las Vegas before training camp starts. Have to assume you like that idea?
Vogel: Yeah, absolutely. Guys get together, get to spend some time together, get to know each other a little bit on the court. That’s a good thing.
The minicamp also provides James an early opportunity to establish himself as one of the leaders of the team.
Last season, it felt like James made a conscious effort to not to step on anyone’s toes and, as a result, he took a backseat when it came to leading. This season — with a revamped, veteran-heavy roster — there should be no mistaking who’s running the show (no, it’s not Alex Caruso).
That may subject James to even more criticism than he got last season, but as long as he’s doing things on his terms, it shouldn’t be a problem to him, and the minicamp seems to be the first step in that process.