LeBron James is showing the same approach to NBA pre-season as Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant used to, Luke Walton has revealed.
LeBron James made waves after missing out with Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017/18 playoffs by opting into free agency.
And after plenty of speculation the three-time championship winner opted to try his hand at cracking the Western Conference.
James joined the Lakers after calling it a day at the Cavaliers for a second time and will work under Walton at Staples Center.
Walton, who spent nine years on the Lakers’ roster, has now revealed a comparison between James and former team-mate and NBA legend Bryant.
“There’s definitely that look that I’ve seen before in somebody that I used to play with that knows the season’s coming up soon,” Walton said, referring to Bryant, when asked about James.
Walton was happy to joke that it was another of his ex-team-mates who James reminded him of, however, when a journalist opted to play dumb.
“Gee,” a local reporter replied to Walton’s comment. “Who could that be?”
And Walton quipped: “Ronny Turiaf”, referencing the retired centre who spent two years with the Los Angeles Lakers.
James has alternated between the small forward and power forward roles during spells with the Cavaliers and Miami Heat.
But he says he could feature at centre if required as Walton seeks to guide the Lakers to the playoffs for the first time.
“I can do whatever it takes to win,” James said. “Obviously I’m not going to start at centre.
“That’s what we got big JaVale [McGee] for, big [Ivica] Zubac. You know, we got some big guys.
“But I’m a basketball player. You put me on the floor I can make things happen.”
James admits the Lakers face a battle to end the Golden State Warriors’ dominance of the Western Conference.
“We have got a long way to go to get to Golden State,” James added.
“They can pick up right where they let off. We are picking up from scratch.
“We can’t worry about them. They have been together for a few years now. We can just try to get better every day.
“My expectation is to try and get better every single day. I don’t expect nothing. You work for what you want.
“That is all part of the process and we don’t know. It is unknown what to expect at the end of the road.
“What I an bring to the table is being excellent every single day. Everything else will take care of itself.
“I don’t think the only way to mark success is winning the Championship. There is only one champion.
“We are a new ball club coming together so we have to take our bumps and bruises.
“There are going to be good times and bad times but if we put in the commitment and the time then everything else will fall in place.
“My game does not change no matter who I’m alongside side. I’m a team first guy, I love passing the ball and sharing the ball.”
James is expected to make his Lakers debut when Walton’s side face the Denver Nuggets in pre-season on October 1.