notebook: 'Some day' for Lakers, LeBron says
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[September 25, 2018]
Team executive Magic Johnson
lured LeBron James to Los Angeles with visions of restoring
Showtime, but the Lakers are not quite ready for prime time.
"Hopefully some day we can put ourselves in position where we can
compete for a championship as Golden State has done for the last few
years,'' James said Monday at the Lakers' media day.
"They can pick up right where they left off, starting with training
camp. We are picking up from scratch, so we got a long way to go. We
can't worry about what Golden State is doing. ... [The Warriors
have] been together for a few years now."
Lakers head coach Luke Walton said James, who signed a $154 million
contract in the offseason, is setting the tone early in training
camp. "He knows what time it is," Walton said.
--Carmelo Anthony would be willing to play center or come off the
bench if the Houston Rockets asked him to play those unfamiliar
Anthony, who spent last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, said
at the Rockets' media day that he hasn't talked to general manager
Daryl Morey or head coach Mike D'Antoni about those questions
because he's willing to do whatever the team needs.
"Whatever I have to do to help this team win a championship, that's
what's going to be done. I haven't had that conversation with
anybody yet. I'm very clear on what my role is," said Anthony, who
signed a one-year, $2.2 million contract to join the Rockets after a
buyout from the Atlanta Hawks made him a free agent.
--Kemba Walker hears the chatter that he will be the target of a
"super team" if he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, but
the two-time All-Star guard, who is entering his eighth season with
the Charlotte Hornets, said he prefers to remain there.
Walker said he doesn't "want to be nowhere else," when he spoke with
reporters during the club's media day festivities. He asserted that
joining a team already loaded with stars carries little appeal to
"You see guys who are on elite teams. I don't want to do that,"
Walker said. "I want to create something special here in Charlotte,
something that we have never had here before. I want to create some
consistency. And I want to be a part of that."
--Restricted free agent guard Patrick McCaw has refused to sign the
Warriors' $1.7 million qualifying offer and will miss the start of
McCaw has been hoping to receive a long-term deal from another team,
but nothing has transpired. The Warriors would have three days to
match any such offer sheet. McCaw has until Oct. 30 to accept the
McCaw, who turns 23 next month, has spent his first two NBA seasons
with the Warriors. He averaged 4.0 points in 57 games last season.
His campaign was interrupted by a spinal injury on March 31 after
suffering a hard fall against the Sacramento Kings.
[to top of second column]
Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during media day at UCLA Health
Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
--As much as New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis wants to
return to playing, he is committed to a patient approach as he
continues to recover from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament.
"I'm hungry," Porzingis told reporters at the team's media day. "I
want to be on the court as soon as possible. It's good that I have a
good team around me, holding me back when I need to be held back,
telling me I need to be patient. It's a long process, already 7 1/2
"I'm getting itchy. But it won't happen until I am 110 percent and
medically cleared," said the 7-foot-3 Latvian, who wouldn't even
rule out missing the entire season, offering only "it's hard to say"
when asked about the possibility.
--The San Antonio Spurs opened training camp and one thing was
clear. The players are happy the Kawhi Leonard drama is in the past,
with Leonard having been traded to the Toronto Raptors in the
offseason after he played in just nine games last season due to a
"I was glad it was over," point guard Dejounte Murray told
reporters. "Everywhere I went, I couldn't really go anywhere without
everybody asking me. Just all the drama, and the Spurs aren't used
to drama. So it was weird for everybody in the world. It was a lot."
Leonard's relationship with the team reportedly fell apart due to
conflicts over how to treat the injury. He sought outside medical
help, spent a large portion of the season in New York and was rarely
around the club. He was confronted by teammates in March over the
slowness of his recovery, which furthered the divide.
--Leonard met the Toronto media for the first time as a member of
the Raptors and didn't share a lot about himself or the July trade
from the Spurs.
"I'm a fun guy," smiled the usually stoic Leonard, cracking a joke
with the media. Beyond that, he was all business.
Leonard played just nine games last season with the Spurs while
sidelined with a quadriceps injury. During his long time away from
the team, his relationship with the only organization he'd played
for since entering the NBA in 2011 soured to the point he demanded a
trade. He wanted to go home to his native Los Angeles area. Instead,
San Antonio set him to another country.
--Field Level Media
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