NBA legend Kevin Garnett says this upcoming season will be a learning lesson for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers signed the best player in the world, LeBron James, to a four-year free agent deal in July and the expectations surrounding the franchise have now been expedited as a result.
Many have questioned James’ move to the Lakers since the roster appears nowhere near ready to compete for a championship in the rugged Western Conference. James is surrounded by a lot of young players and guys who don’t really fit well next to him such as Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson.
Garnett says since James demands so much from his teammates, it’s going to be an adjustment for many players on the Lakers’ roster.
“They got the best player in the world,” Garnett told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on Scoop B Radio. “I think we’re all going to see it and it’s going to be a learning lesson for the Lakers this year. His influence causes everyone else to be better.”
Garnett isn’t the only one who thinks the burden of being a teammate of James will take the young players on the Lakers time to get used to. Veteran big man Channing Frye knows first-hand the pressure and spotlight that comes with being a teammate of James. Frye and James played together with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Frye learned pretty quickly that James demands a great deal from his teammates.
Frye played with the Lakers during the second half of last season and says the young core in LA is talented, but has to be ready for everything that James throws at them.
“I think the thing they’re going to come to realize is that there’s who you expect to be, and then who you are when you play with LeBron,” Frye told Erik Garcia Gunderson of LeBron Wire. “It’s two different things. I don’t know if they truly understand what it’s like to play with him because there is no room for mistakes.
“In all actuality, he could do it himself. He could lead a team to 40 wins by himself. I think for all of them, they’re going to have to have a reality check, not only them but the people around them. The Lakers last year, they really established how they were going to play. We’re going to play fast, we’re going to play together, we’re going to play defense. But now you’ve got LeBron, you’ve got [Rajon] Rondo, you’ve got all these guys. It’s not like let’s go party in LA now. It’s lets stay in and get some sleep.
“So get ready for that. Get ready for all that attention that comes with LeBron and all the responsibility. Get ready to try and deal with getting popular, getting invited to everything. If you have 1 million followers, get ready to have 2. If you have 2, get ready to have 4. Get ready to get invited to literally everything in LA because you’re now the hottest ticket in LA. Find that medium.”