'It's going to take a minute': LeBron James on Lakers' Big 3 jelling

·3 min read
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Chris Chiozza (2) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Lakers guard Russell Westbrook drives against Golden State Warriors forward Chris Chiozza during the first half Tuesday night at Staples Center. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

One by one, the Lakers’ Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook sat at the post-game podium Tuesday and explained how they will make this new partnership work.

One by one, starting with Westbrook and then James and finally Davis, they each preached patience and letting the process take its course.

They finally played their first preseason game together, at times showing glimpses of what they can become and at times showing how far they have to go during a 111-99 loss to Golden State at Staples Center.

“It’s going to take a minute for us to become the team that we know we are going to be capable of being,” James said after scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebounds, handing out four assists and turning the ball over six times in 26 minutes and 9 seconds of play.

“So, it’s all about just working the process, being patient with the process, understanding that we’re going to have frustrating moments. We’re going to have moments where we’re not quite right there. We may take a step backwards. But that’s all part of … I think nothing is worth having if it’s not worth working for and I think we’re going to hit some moments where we feel like we’re right there but we’re not quite there.”

The Lakers’ faithful had patiently waited to see James, Davis and Westbrook on the court at the same time, wondering how the NBA’s latest trio of stars will bond.

Davis did his part with 20 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 30:12.

Westbrook had 10 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five turnovers.

The Lakers’ last exhibition game is Thursday at Sacramento before they open the regular season at home against the Warriors next Tuesday.

With the 82-game season looming, Westbrook was asked how long he thinks the process will take.

“I don't have an answer for that one, honestly,” he said. “I know that's the question everybody keeps asking. Like, nobody has a real answer for that. We're just gonna play just like every other team and then we're gonna figure it out.

"We don't need to figure it out Oct. 18, 19, whenever the first game is. We got one goal in mind and that's to win the championship. So, throughout the season, there's gonna be ups, there's gonna be downs, there's gonna be adversity. As long as we're together and on the same page, that's all that matters.”

Davis saw some positives in having himself, James and Westbrook on the court together.

They had shown in practice how lethal they could be, but they needed to bring that to a game.

“Yeah, we saw some great things with me, Bron and Russ in action,” Davis said. “A lot of … there’s endless possibilities, the things we can run and we can do. And especially with shooters on the backside with Mel [Carmelo Anthony] and Baze [Kent Bazemore] — all our shooters. Still, an adjustment. We’ve done it a lot in practice but the first time playing together on the floor tonight. And even though there were good things, a lot of things that we can do better. We still can work on our defensive schemes as a unit.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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