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Jarred Vanderbilt says LeBron James is ‘moving like a freight train’ during training camp

Despite entering Year 21, LeBron James is looking young and spry in training camp for the Lakers this preseason.

2023-24 Los Angeles Lakers Media Day Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

Of all the storylines discussed so far through media day and the early stages of training camp, very few of them have been about LeBron James and expectations for him. There’s been talk about his health and managing his minutes this season, but for a player entering his 21st year, the idea — and reality — that he’s going to be as dominant as he typically is should not go unnoticed.

And if there was any belief that the foot injury had slowed him down at all, the Lakers are quickly dispelling that. LeBron noted that he entered camp at 100% fully healed and he’s showing that on the court, as Jarred Vanderbilt talked about after Wednesday’s practice, via the LA Times.

“He’s been looking good. Just energy level, his activity. Him changing ends of the floor, he definitely looks like he has a little bit more bounce and pep to his step. We’re glad to have him back at 100%. Like I said, he’s still moving looking a freight train.”

Vando isn’t the only one walking away impressed by LeBron. Head coach Darvin Ham, who has seen up close the entirety of LeBron’s career, thinks he has turned back the clock heading into this season.

“He’s 100% healthy. He looks fine. He looks like third- or fourth-year LeBron.”

As encouraging as all of this is for the Lakers, especially after the uncertain terms last season ended with, the challenge is not having LeBron healthy in October.

In previous seasons, LeBron has been healthy at the start of the season and in the opening months. It’s having him healthy in February, March and, specifically, April, May and June.

Having LeBron showcase that he can play at a high level out of the gate is very encouraging for the ceiling of this team. But the floor will be a very low one if he can’t play like this deep into the season, which should remain the top priority for this team.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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