The Los Angeles Lakers had a terrible last season. They finished in the 11th seed and missed the playoffs after a disappointing 33-49 regular season record. Meanwhile, LeBron James scored more than thirty points in the 50+ games he played last season. The four-time NBA champ is at his peak and would like to win a few more rings before he retires from the league. However, it remains to be seen if James is willing to retire with the lakers. His contract with the Lakers would come to an end after the next season.
The 37-year-old became eligible for a two-year, $97 million extension on Thursday. However, the 18-time All-Star had not made up their mind yet. LeBron James and his agent Ruch Paul met with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham last Thursday. They discussed the prospects of the extension deals and the franchise’s plans for the next season under the new head coach.
The league’s and James’ sources have revealed the happenings of the meeting and the issues that were discussed behind closed doors. As per the league source, apart from starting an extension dialogue, all parties expressed their concerns for the next season for most of the hour-long meeting. They discussed strategies and opinions to ensure that last season’s disaster is not repeated, given the roster would almost be the same.
Meanwhile, LeBron James pointed out the importance of consistent competitiveness and cohesion. The four-time finals MVP noted that last season’s roster did not give them a chance on many game nights. However, the future hall of Famer will focus on competing each night to give the Lakers a shot at the 2022-23 NBA championship.
Ham Prepared To Take Tough Decisions For The Lakers
The new Lakers coach agreed with James’ thoughts. His main objective would be to hold everyone accountable and create a selfless environment around the team. Darvin Ham stated that everyone on the roster would have to lift the intensity of defense. He also warned that players might have to take up new roles and would not hesitate to remove them from the game for reluctance.
Ham further pointed out that Anthony Davis and LeBron James’ concurrence would be the key to the offense. The Lakers are encouraged with Davis’ offseason progress. The franchise believes the 8-time All-Star would be in great physical shape to avoid injuries and carry more load. The Lakers also expect more efforts from Russell Westbrook in terms of three-point shooting after he failed to impress in his first season with the franchise.
Meanwhile, Rob Pelinka suggested that patience is the key to making the right roster changes. All the parties involved came to an understanding. They would wait to see how the roster plays out before making any drastic moves. Pelinka also stated that the franchise wanted James to retire with them. LA would provide everything he needed to compete for the championship each season. Meanwhile, LeBron James is yet to finalize a destination for the annual minicamp before the training camp. He was looking forward to getting along with his teammates better before the start of the new season.