Culver City Observer -

By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

LeBron James keeps his mind and body at a high level

 

October 8, 2020

Jevone Moore

LeBron James of the Lakers is guarded by Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans during a game in January at the Staples Center.

It's no secret that Laker super star LeBron James keeps his body in great condition. At 35 years old he is one of the best conditioned athletes in the world but James has another secret that keeps him on top of the professional basketball world. It's his mind. His body and mind has put the Lakers in a position to win their 17th championship if the beat the Miami Heat tonight.

"It's a chess match," said James last Tuesday after he scored 28 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out nine assist in the Lakers 102-96 win over the Heat in Florida. "You get to a point in your career where you have your mind at a high level. At this point we are all great players. We are all here for a reason. We are in the finals so to be able to think through the game and understand and see the adjustments. That's the best part for me personally."

Although James has always been the best player on teams he has played on he continues to trust his teammates. That's why he is one of the top assists leaders in NBA history. "Whoever is out there on the floor with me at crunch time I believe in them," said James during a Zoom interview from the Bubble in Florida last Tuesday. "You never stop striving to be great."

James will be the first one to admit he can't do it alone. He talks about how it takes everyone in the organization, form the president down to the ball boys or ball girls to be a successful team and the 2019-20 Lakers team found the right combination. The front office, the coaching staff and the players are all on the same page and that's how championships are made.

The Lakers know what James and Anthony Davis can do but what makes them so good this year is their role players. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Alex Caruso, Danny Green, Dwight Howard, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Markieff Morris and Ranjon Rondo have all played key roles during the season. Last Tuesday Caldwell-Pope (15) and Green (10) combined for 25 points.

"We are a team first team," said Laker head coach Frank Vogel last Tuesday. "Obviously we have our two main horses but everybody has to contribute who is out there. We trust all of our teammates."

Vogel deserves a lot of credit for the success of the Lakers. The first year coach stresses defense. "Each game we are getting a little bit stronger on the defensive end. You have to credit our guys competitive spirit."

Jevone Moore

UCLA quarterback tries to get away from a USC player during last years' game.

Davis, who is one of the top defensive players in the NBA spoke about the defense the Lakers played last Tuesday. "Defensively we were better overall and we were locked in to what we were doing. We played with a little more sense of urgency."

The Dodgers are another Los Angeles team that is playing well in the playoffs. At press time Wednesday, they had a 2-0 lead on the San Diego Padres. If they win one more game in the best of five series they will advance to the National League Championship series.

UCLA and USC football teams start practice this week. Their season starts next month on November7. Both teams will play six regular season games. The Pac-12 had theirFootball Media Webinar Day last Wednesday. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic no fans will be allowed to attend the games.

 

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