NBA

Ray Allen has urged LeBron James to reinvent his game with the Lakers.

Ray Allen says LeBron James will have to "reinvent himself" with the Lakers this season

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Last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James had to carry an extremely heavy load and played 82 games for the first time in his career. 

After trading Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics last summer, the Cavs relied heavily on their superstar to lead them towards a championship. 

They acquired Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder in that deal with the C's and also added Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade in free agency. 

On paper, the Cavaliers looked like a deeper and more talented unit but things didn't work out and those four players were traded at the deadline. 

In return, they secured young and inexperienced players such as Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood who had never faced the pressure of competing for a title in their careers to date. 

The King was on a mission

That placed more responsibility on the shoulders of LeBron but he embraced the challenge, arguably producing the best campaign of his 15-year career.

LeBron played all 82 regular season games for the first time in his career

He averaged 27.5 points and career-highs in rebounds (8.6) and assists (9.1) in the regular season.

The King took his game to even greater heights in the playoffs as he put Cleveland on his back and dragged them to a fourth consecutive NBA Finals.

In the postseason, he averaged close to a triple-double with 34.0 points, 9.0 dimes and 9.1 boards, while shooting 53 percent from the field. 

The Finals was a step too far for the four-time MVP, however, as he and the Cavs suffered a sweep at the hands of the loaded Golden State Warriors. 

Next step

James will now begin the next chapter of his career after joining the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency. 

Magic Johnson and the Lakers front office have made it clear that they don't want him to do as much as he had to do in Cleveland.

Therefore, they've made a concerted effort to surround the three-time champion with multiple ball-handlers to ease the load on him next year. 

They signed playmakers such as Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson to help the 33-year-old.

Rajon Rondo is still one of the best playmakers in the NBA

But LBJ's former Miami Heat teammate and recent Hall of Fame inductee Ray Allen believes he must also make adjustments to his game for the purple and gold to succeed. 

"Even LeBron has to reinvent himself," Allen said on the "Dan Patrick Show" when asked about the new-look Lakers roster.

"When I played with him (in Miami), he had a lot around him that could do different things, so he didn't always have to carry the weight.

"Cleveland, it was a little different. He needed more shooters around him.

The Cavs always surrounded James with many three-point shooters

“(In L.A.), he doesn’t have that many shooters around him, so how are they going to fit in? (Lance) Stephenson and (Rajon) Rondo both need the ball in their hands.

"So is he going to give up more of that responsibility and is he going to become somewhat of a spot-up shooter at the same time?

"Or are those guys going to become shot-up shooters? It’s going to be interesting to watch."

With the most nationally televised games this season, all eyes will be on the Lakers as there will be real intrigue in seeing how this team will come together. 

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

Topics:
Ray Allen
Rajon Rondo
Cleveland Cavaliers
L.A. Lakers
LeBron James
NBA

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