LOS ANGELES – “Smooth fans, the wait is over.”
Then said Ice Cube when he finished the opening call that greeted the fans on the screen when they were filed from the buzzy console in the bowl at Staples Center. Among the promises offered to those attendances were “The Dawn of the New Kingdom” and the restoration of Showtime. The monarch in question is, of course, LeBron Raymone James, Sr. And when arriving in Los Angeles, the basketball’s most prominent star is now the face of NBA’s premier franchise.
For about two hours on Saturday, the electric current pulses through the arena during James’ regular premiere in a Lakers uniform appearing to be the NBA at the height of its cultural power. If the league could order a custom product for the global masses, could it be a sniper with its global star on its global team against an opponent with the presence of Rocket led by the ruling MVP? [1
9659004] Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram were released from Saturday’s match in the fourth quarter after a multiplayer match broke out.
Kirk Goldsberry enters LeBron’s journey to offensive greatness and what it means for this new test with the Lakers.
Then, with just over four minutes left in a one-point game, the Lakers welcome wagon was captured by fisticuffs. In a league whose players would not want to fight, this game was suddenly ruled by a melee who saw three players land close to fisted battles – Brandon Ingram (who started brawl with James Harden) and Rajon Rondo Lakers, as well as Chris Paul of the Rockets. After players were separated several times when emotions continued to run hot, officials took several minutes to judge the event. All three players are squeezed and face some suspensions.
If James began the night as the game’s honororee, he finished it as his peacekeeper. While tempting partying, James could be found with his arms around his close friend Paul in an attempt to de-escalate madness. LeBron has always flourished in chaos, but tonight’s delirium was a bit too much drama for him too.
As is often the case in today’s NBA, the scripted events on Saturday night were subsidized by spontaneous and absurd. No league in the last memory has generated more excitement from their unreacted, reality-show escapades. The Lakers tried to orchestrate a showcase of their showtime revival, but the garden party was crashed by vagrants. The rockets pulled away at the moment after the 124-115 win of the league and released the Lakers to 0-2.
LeBron James, others from the left, finished Saturday’s match against Rockets as peacekeeper. AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
The screen confirmed that the league would be hard pressed to find a pair of annoying more provocative than Harden and Paul. Both are the first ballot Hall of Famers, and both are fluent in the psychological warfare required by teams that have the championship ambitions. Saturday’s opener to a 65-team team would always be a worthy measure for a new Lakers team that measures its potential. But the change underlined a major lesson for a player like Ingram, who just started his third NBA season: Winning in the NBA can be an ugly business.
LeBron, of course, knows better than anyone else. No matter what his presence in Los Angeles could mean for NBA’s brand recommendation, the Lakers and LeBron Basketball is still a fair product measured in profits and losses. LeBron – who released 24 points, five boards and five assists – will undoubtedly make every Lakers game checked, but now he is responsible for making each game winnable.
There is generally not much to get from the October basketball, but some things do not change even if uniform or conference does. The force of James James Controversy from the opposite defense could be seen on Saturday night, as several Rockets reset him on every half-court possession. This is a condition associated with the lack of photography on the floor of the Lakers, but James made the most of it – witness the exquisite, incredible bouncing pass to a cut Josh Hart along the baseline just before half time
LeBron James makes his much-awaited debut at Staples Center and scores 24 points in Lakers 124-115 loss for Rockets.
James radically changes the style and identity of any team he joins, but through two games, the Lakers seem like a slightly more advanced model than the feisty but deeply wrong team who won 35 matches last season. The characters – and there is no shortage of them on this list – are different, but this is still a troop that stands out when it expires, but a bit more. It suffers from lack of discipline defensively and does not shoot the ball with any kind of shortage from a long range. On Saturday’s loss, the Lakers tried to compensate by chasing unfair matches against Rocket’s switch-happy scheme, but JaVale McGee finishes offer limited appeal.
This season’s Lakers are unequivocally better than 35 wins and all lists with a composition will have this new time needing some jell because Jamess’s first Miami Heat team pointed out regularity in the fall of 2010. This is also a matter of patience – a big theme after the loss in Portland on Thursday – as LeBron warned to build a winner is a long-lasting process than whipping up oatmeal, a league dinner that gives basic nutrition but a bit more.
Lakers want nothing less than the full spread, the well-polished cutlery on the roof deck at sunrise, overlooking their new kingdom.