All-NBA Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James spoke about a variety of topics with Spectrum SportsNet after the L.A.'s 105-75 preseason loss to the visiting Sacramento Kings on Monday night.
During the first half of game action, when James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Patrick Beverley actually played, Los Angeles led Sacramento 46-41. With both teams' more established star players sitting, the Kings' youth movement bested the Lakers' rookies and other younger players in a fairly meaningless second half romp.
One stat that was a bit concerning was LeBron James's shooting. The 18-time All-Star and four-time MVP is entering his 20th season, and fifth with L.A. But he has rarely has looked as rusty on offense as he did last night.
He scored four points, all at the free throw line (where he went 4-of-5), dished out two assists and pulled down a single rebound in what was essentially a glorified scrimmage. He and co-star Anthony Davis did lead the Lakers in one key stat: plus-minus. The Lakers were +2 when James or Davis was on the floor Monday.
"For me, it's all about just getting in a rhythm, and getting into condition," James remarked in part. "I think [in the] first half we did a great job of defending, we could have [done] a better job of cleaning the glass at times," James said of the team's encouraging first 24 minutes. "Offensively we were playing great basketball. Even though some of the shots [weren't] going in, we were still making the right plays."
When asked about his 0-for-7 shooting night, James laughed it off, as well he should. "I just missed some shots," he acknowledged. "I missed three lay-ups, a wide-open lay-up, a couple threes... I've started a game where I've been like 0-for-9 before but I've played 35, 40 minutes so I've got an opportunity to get my rhythm. I mean [15:41] minutes it was over with. But that's the last thing on my mind as far as makes or misses [go]. Working on habits offensively and defensively, putting in the stuff we've been doing over the week [during the team's training camp has been the priority."
Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press revealed that James last shot 0-for-7 in an NBA half was 14 years ago.
The man averaged 30.3 points a game (the second-highest scoring mark in the league) on .524/.359/.756 shooting splits, along with 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists, in 2021-22. He'll be fine.