FILE PHOTO: Jun 22, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James celebrates during the NBA championship parade in downtown Cleveland. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had a brief chat with Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton during summer league action in Las Vegas on Saturday and plans to have dinner with him soon, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The topic of discussion? LeBron James, who jumped from the Cavaliers to the Lakers in free agency last week to sign a four-year, $154 million deal.
Lue will reportedly meet with Walton and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw to tell them what he knows about coaching James.
Apparently, it will be a short conversation.
“I’ll just tell them LeBron’s easy,” said Lue, per the Times. “People get this whole thing built up like he’s hard to coach. It’s not. LeBron’s not the problem. It’s the outside tension that’s the problem. Just put added pressure immediately on the coaches, on his teammates. Now everything you do is under a microscope. … So it’s going to be a totally different change for the Lakers. They’ll be able to handle it.
“LeBron is easy to play with, very unselfish. LeBron can bring guys along, make sure they’re doing the right thing. It’s going to be good. The outside is what you’ve gotta be able to block out.”
James, 33, is the latest — and one of the greatest — legends to play for the Lakers. He has averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in 1,143 career contests.
This marks the first time James will play for a team in the hotly contested Western Conference, which includes heavyweights such as the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. James spent his first seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his next four seasons with the Miami Heat, and his last four seasons back at home with Cleveland.
Shortly after James’ decision was announced, the Lakers landed free agent swingman Lance Stephenson for one year and $4.5 million, free agent point guard Rajon Rondo for one year and $9 million and they re-signed guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year, $12 million deal. The Lakers also agreed with free agent center JaVale McGee on a one-year, league-minimum contract.
The Cavaliers had hoped to re-sign James, who has appeared in eight consecutive NBA Finals. The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly also had strong interest in the 6-foot-8, 250-pound superstar who entered the league directly out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.
—Field Level Media