Minutes after NBA superstar LeBron James walked off the court Thursday night following his highly anticipated debut in purple and gold, the four-time MVP shared the key ingredient necessary to resuscitate the legendary but languishing Los Angeles Lakers: Oatmeal.
Instant oatmeal, to be specific.
Learning to play as a cohesive unit is a process that happens “not as fast as you guys think it’s going to happen,” James said, according to ESPN. “I always kind of compare it to like instant oatmeal. It is not that fast. It takes a while to get to where you can close your eyes and know exactly where your guys are.”
James, 33, finished with 26 points in LA’s 128-119 loss to the Trail Blazers at Portland’s Moda Center. James started with a bang, slamming down a pair of thunderous dunks in a span of just 19 seconds, helping the Lakers take an early 10-point lead that soon disappeared.
When James signed his four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers this offseason, he knew there would be growing pains — aches James still seems to be adjusting to after playing in the NBA Finals each of the last eight seasons. He insisted the new-look Lakers were a work-in-progress and the players were still developing chemistry.
“Leadership is not a sometimes thing, it’s an everyday thing, all day,” he said, according to Sports Illustrated. “A lot of these younger guys don’t have a lot of experience, so I have to understand that. … It’s going to take patience from our team, from all of us. … We’re less than a month in. It’s still early.”
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The superstar highlighted some positives he observed on the court.
“I liked our fight to get back in the game,” James said. “We were down double digits. I liked the way we competed at times. I liked the way we shared the ball at times, as well.”
With the Lakers, James has joined a revamped group that includes veterans Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley — as well as a young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and rookie Moe Wagner.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.