One of the plays that got me excited the most during the Lakers preseason was when LeBron James and Lonzo Ball allied themselves against the Warriors for an alley oop. James held the ball on the left wing and threw it up for his team-mate after Ball had guided his defender into a Kyle Kuzma pick. It was their first joint action – Ball was injured for 105 days – and an exciting look into the new Lakers team.
After the game, Ball was asked what he was looking forward to playing with James. He said: "I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun and winning a lot of games, you know he's the best player in the world, I just do what I can to help him."
Ball also mentioned the goal for the team is to play fast and that he would bring the ball a lot to James. And James, as the Gassenhof showed, will return the favor.
But Ball's verbiage ̵
Last April, James Jones – who teamed with James on the Heat and the Cavaliers and is known as James's favorite teammate – was asked what it was like to play with James. Jones said that LeBron's versatility and vision meant he could make players like Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye successful, but everyone needed to become a role-player in the system.
"Every player in this league reaches this level because he is extremely talented, just super-talented, and rarely can we only bring it up to this level as a specialist, but if you play with someone like LeBron, you have to specialize Her ability to specialize allows him to be Mr. Everything, and her willingness to be a specialist allows him to dominate. "
Jones's feelings were echoed by Kevin Love, who recently talked about his struggles who are prepared to play with James. In 2014, Chris Bosh predicted that Love would have trouble because Bosh himself had the same problems when joining the Miami Heat:
"Yeah, it's a lot harder to take a step back because it's you And then it's like, well, no, for the benefit of the team, you have to get it over here. "
James embodies the problem, a To be a superstar, especially one on his level – the Warriors are happy in this case. Although he is as selfless as he comes, James demands attention and self-sacrifice from his teammates, even in a team with Dwyane Wade and Bosh. The best way for a team with LeBron James to be successful is to have James run the show so everyone else in the series and, if they're not as good as Wade, become specialists in the team.
This works well if the players surrounding James are naturally limited and are specialists by choice or necessity. James is the ideal teammate for players such as Mike Miller, Kyle Korver, Richard Jefferson, an elderly Ray Allen and Jones with his vision, passability and attention he draws from the defense.
James's omnipresence only becomes a challenge when paired with other stars like Bosh, Wade, Love or Kyrie Irving. It has been suggested that Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler do not want to team with James when they become free agents. They are all superstars who can be much more than just sidekicks. James can play with these players and he has shown that he can win with them. But James is such a heavyweight-distorting talent that a team can only be successful if those superstars are modest enough to play a more complementary role.
James & # 39; Change to the Lakers shows a variant of the same problem. He naturally improves the team and puts a national spotlight on one of the League's most legendary franchises, but he's surrounded by talented young players, not veterans ready to win now.
Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and, until One Degree, Josh Hart, are still discovering their abilities at the NBA level. What they need at this moment in their careers is the freedom and space to experiment, to fail and to grow, and to become familiar with the responsibility of leading a team.
The young core of the Lakers will obviously learn from James just by being close to the size and listening to him explain the game. But if his attitude and role in the team does not drastically change from Cleveland to Los Angeles, James's arrival could hamper their development.
In addition, James & # 39; also changes the priorities of the Lakers. Even though James himself is patient, the Lakers are trying to build a team around him capable of challenging the present, making the development of young players even more difficult.
The Lakers takeover of Rajon Rondo, for example, is unlikely to happen without James, and it is a move that could impede the growth of at least one young Laker. Luke Walton announced at the end of September that Rondo would launch via ball, and although Rondo is considered a strong mentor, his presence should mean that Ball will spend less time on the pitch. Ball improved in the second half of last season, and now he is reduced to come off the bench in his second year.
The situation is reminiscent of what D & # 39; Angelo Russell has suffered with Kobe Bryant. From a 2016 story with ESPN:
"We're all playing together," he says. "It's not about a guy anymore. It's about sacrificing for the team." Adds Russell, "Kobe deserves all the attention he got in his last year, but in Kobe there is no freedom."  James is not Bryant, but the two dominate as presences great players who twist everything around them. Of course, without any fault of his own, James impedes the growth of young players by the simple fact that he wants to win. There is little room for mistakes in his teams, and mistakes are important for the growth of young players. James is the sun around which everything revolves.
As soon as James came to the Lakers, their fate changed. They are now being discussed as if they could make the final of the Western Conference – that's the effect that the best player in the world has in a team. But his arrival also brought the Lakers into win-now mode. As much as the young Lakers will learn from James and the pressure to win every game, they will also lose because they no longer have the responsibility they share. Your years of self-discovery are over, or at least minimized. What they can do now is help James, as Ball said, and that means knowing her role.