LeBron James hopes Lakers will have chance to finish season, achieve ‘closure’

first_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed LeBron James won’t be ready to get back to work until the experts vouch for the safety of playing basketball in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Nor, however, is the Lakers superstar ready to give up on a season that’s proved so challenging, so surprising and in so many ways, inspiring too.“I can have some satisfaction on what our team has been able to do this year,” James said on a video conference with reporters Wednesday. “Having a first-year coach, first-year system, a whole new coaching staff, I honestly didn’t think that we’d be able to come together as fast as we did.“Having so many new players, so many new pieces, bringing in Anthony (Davis). He spent seven years in New Orleans, so he was coming into a new system playing along with myself and how we would be able to come together. I thought it would take us a lot longer than it did – but I was wrong.”James takes pleasure in that, of course. And he said he believes he’ll be able to find satisfaction in the many victories along the way: The Lakers secured a postseason berth, putting an end to their six-season playoff drought. They were sitting atop the Western Conference standings with a 49-14 record when play was paused March 11. For this particular period of time, without basketball or, for that matter, without any real normalcy beyond the sport, James said he’s making the best of the unexpected break. He said he appreciates the opportunity to spend time with his family, watching TV, playing cards and video games, training with his son and observing his children engaged in distance learning. “I don’t know how many other people understand how hard it is to be a teacher,” James said. “I got a good sense of it because I have my own (I Promise) school back home, so I know how difficult it is. But to even add another layer of being able to have teaching across the web. My appreciation for the teachers and professors and the tutors that are calling in daily, or weekly, to our kids all across the nation, still allowing them to learn and still keeping them up to speed about what’s going on like they were in the classroom.“It’s definitely been a bit of a blessing to be able to be here 24/7,” James continued. “To be here with your family and being able to – I don’t want to say ‘recoup’ the time, because that’s one thing you cannot do – but to be able to appreciate it and be in this moment, it’s been pretty cool.“Even though I’ve missed the game of basketball like none other.” Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“But I don’t know,” mused James, who at 35 was playing MVP-caliber basketball and averaging a career-high 10.6 assists per game, with his sights set squarely on competing for a fourth NBA title.“I don’t think I’d be able to have any closure if we do not have an opportunity to finish this season. I will have some satisfaction on just being with my brothers … some of the games that we lost, some of the games that we won, some of the games that we overcame and then everything that we’ve been going through this season, the ups and downs, not only on the floor, but off the floor.”Before the pandemic interrupted the season, James’ Lakers were at the center of some the league’s most challenging moments, including the Kobe Bryant’s death in January and, before that, the NBA’s high-stakes dispute with China.“Everything that we’ve had to endure, as the Laker faithful and players and coaching staff and organization, has been so much,” James said. “So closure? No. But to be proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish to this point, I’ll be able to look back and say, ‘OK, we did something special in that small period of time.’ ”Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs last_img

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