The Los Angles Lakers have assembled one of the most talented young cores in the NBA in recent years.
In Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, they have a quartet they can build their team around for the future.
But the arrival of LeBron James this summer means the time for rebuilding is over for the Lakers and these young players will have to make significant contributions to help them reach the playoffs.
The good news for the team is, it’s a challenge that they’re all willing to embrace and take on.
Hungry to succeed
James is used to being surrounded by veterans and All-Stars but one of the reasons why he chose to join L.A. is because of the talent these youngsters possess.
He’s spent time working with them during the offseason and recently spoke about how impressed he is with their hunger to learn.
“I think more importantly than what I need to share with the younger guys,” LeBron told China’s CCTV5 recently.
“I think what a lot of people are missing is how hungry for knowledge that the young guys have.”
“[Kyle Kuzma] and [Lonzo Ball] and Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, [Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk] and Moe Wagner, we have young guys that are extremely excited not only about playing the game, but also learning the game.
“That’s going to help out even more because those guys are just hungry for knowledge, so I’m looking forward to that.”
The four-time MVP has reached eight straight NBA Finals but he knows that making it nine in a row will be his hardest task.
Not only does he a largely inexperienced roster to work with but he’s also now in the super-competitive Western Conference.
LeBron will always aim to win a championship but he’s aware of which teams will stand in his way.
“That’s the goal with the new team, young team. We’re very new to each other,” LeBron said.
“That’s the goal, but we know the road goes through Golden State. We understand that. The whole NBA understands that. But that is always the goal.
“Each year, you train and prepare to try to get to another NBA Finals, so that is my preparation.”
Taking the Cleveland Cavaliers to the finals last season was one of the best achievements of the 33-year-old’s career but he’ll easily trump that if he’s able to drag the Lakers back to the NBA’s biggest stage for the first time since 2010.
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