LeBron James on if the Lakers can repeat: “Absolutely”

If L.A. can stay healthy, LeBron James believes Lakers can defend title
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With a glass of his brand name tequila Lobos 1707 in hand, LeBron James appeared on the podcast Road Trippin’, hosted by Allie Clifton, along with former NBA players Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye.

The conversation moved around a wide range of topics, including social injustice initiatives implemented by the NBA and how he dealt with the bubble in Orlando, which included the Los Angeles Lakers winning a championship.

James thanked his former teammates that had moved on, including Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee and Quenton Meeks.

“Kudos to those guys,” James said. “Much respect. I love those guys. When you win a championship with a group, it goes on forever. You can talk about it for the rest of your life.”

James also raised the possibility of Meeks coming back, with the Lakers having two spots left on the 15-man roster. Training camp for NBA teams started this week. The Lakers first preseason game is against the crosstown Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 11.

While those players are no longer on the roster, James seemed pleased with the additions of Marc Gasol, Dennis Schröder, Wes Matthews and Montrezl Harrell.

“I don’t know if he likes it or not because we haven’t had a conversation, but I call him Dennis the Menace,” James said about Schröder. “I love what he brings to the game, his tenacity. He’s a dog. He gets under your skin.”

James also was asked if the Lakers can make it back-to-back championships, with the upcoming season set to begin on December 22.

“We can, it’s that simple,” James said, when asked if the Lakers can repeat. “We absolutely can. First of all, it all starts with health. You have to have some luck, and you have to have health. So, if we can stay healthy, but we did get younger. We have a 27-year-old point guard. We’ve got the 27-year-old Sixth man of the Year award winner in Trez. We got younger.”

James talked about the NBA bubble experience, and the Lakers scrapping their way to an NBA title.

“Ninety-six days and ninety-five nights,” James said about being in the NBA bubble in Orlando. “I’ll never forget it.”

However, he’s also interested in how the NBA will handle the upcoming season with no NBA bubble and COVID-19 numbers spiking throughout the country.

“I’m very intrigued in seeing what the protocols are going to be,” James said. “There’s been discussions. There’s been talks. They wanted to make sure we could get the season going, obviously for a lot of different reasons, (money) being the biggest reason.

“But the safety of our players, and the safety of our owners, the safety of our GMs and our coaches, our training staff, that’s more important than anything. I’m very intrigued to see how they deal with this, because we all know COVID is very active. And they actually told us in the winter it’s going to be more active, and that’s where we’re at right now. … I just want to see how we tackle this.”

You can watch the full episode here.