They can pick up right where they left off, starting with training camp. We’re picking up from scratch. So we have a long way to go
LOS ANGELES, California — LeBron James warned Los Angeles Lakers fans not to expect an immediate challenge to the dominance of the Golden State Warriors as the NBA superstar addressed the media for the first time here Monday.
The 33-year-old four-time NBA Most Valuable Player joined the Lakers in July on a four-year $154 million deal which was sealed just weeks after his Cleveland Cavaliers were beaten by the Warriors for the third time in four years.
James arrives in Los Angeles with the Lakers desperately trying to regain their former glory after several years of steady decline, which has seen them fail to reach the playoffs for five straight seasons.
The capture of James prompted bookmakers to slash the odds on the Lakers winning another NBA title, with Las Vegas betting market Westgate installing them as 7/2 favourites behind the Warriors.
James however sought to put a lid on the expectations, warning that any challenge to their Western Conference rival Warriors was a long way off.
“We’ve got a long way to go to get to Golden State,” James said at the Lakers’ media day.
“They can pick up right where they left off, starting with training camp. We’re picking up from scratch. So we have a long way to go.”
“We can’t worry about what Golden State is doing. Golden State is Golden State and they’re the champions. They’ve been together for a few years now.
“We can only focus one what we can do to get better every day as a Lakers franchise and hopefully some day we can put ourselves in position where we can compete for a championship as Golden State has done for the past few years.”