Luke Walton encouraged by first Lakers meeting with LeBron James

Last week, LeBron James officially signed his four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, confirming the biggest move of the offseason so far.

To show some support to his new team, the former Cleveland Cavaliers star travelled to Las Vegas last weekend to watch his new team play and beat the Detroit Pistons in the Summer League.

During this same weekend, James also had his first meeting with Lakers head coach Luke Walton, since he had not met him before signing his four-year deal with the team.

LeBron and Walton did not talk to each other prior to the four-time MVP winner deciding to pick the Lakers. The two had only texted since James committed to the team on July 1, as James was out of the country on vacation.

During an interview with ESPN, Walton reflected on his first meeting with LeBron since he joined their franchise and the head coach said that he was elated by their early contact.

He said: “He’s about the team. He’s about doing things the right way, and he’s about winning. I can work with those qualities.”

Walton and James already have a connection prior to LeBron joining the Lakers this summer, as they both part of the same draft class back in 2003. Walton has been the head coach of the Lakers since April 2016.

The Lakers head coach has been wanting to make sure himself and the four-time MVP winner get off on the right foot as soon as he signed his four-year deal with the team.

Walton contacted James’ former coaches and teammates for information about him, including speaking to Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and two of James’ former teammates, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye.

Walton was probably further encouraged by James’ commitment to the Lakers by the fact he was wearing a pair of fashionable Lakers shorts at the Summer League game this weekend, which reportedly have a retail value of $500.

James averaged 27.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Cavs last season, with those numbers increasing to 34 points and 9.1 rebounds during Cleveland’s run to the NBA Finals.

Los Angeles finished 2017-18 with a 35-47 record and missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season. The addition of LeBron, however, is a step in the right direction to change that.

The Lakers also added Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and JaVale McGee this offseason to their already impressive young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Now, with possibly a few more pieces, the work can begin for LeBron and company towards bringing an NBA title to the Lakers for the first time since 2010.

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