Channing Frye knows what it’s like to play alongside LeBron James, and he’s also seen the Los Angeles Lakers’ young core in action, so he’s in a unique spot to discuss the upcoming season for the Purple and Gold.
Frye played with James for parts of three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers before being dealt to the Lakers at the trade deadline last season. As you know, James elected to leave the Cavs and set up shop at Staples Center for the next four seasons when he signed a free-agent contract with the Lakers this offseason.
James will be surrounded by a talented group of young Lakers that includes Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball, but Frye doesn’t think the youngsters have a firm grasp on what playing with King James is like.
“I’ll tell you this: (the young Lakers are) arguably the most talented group in the NBA. And I mean talented in terms of experience, years playing in the Western Conference and their overall position,” Frye told USA TODAY.
“I think the thing they’re going to come to and I think a lot of guys are going to have to deal with this. There’s who you expect to be and then who you are when you play with LeBron. 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. Because 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. There’s going to say, not a growing period, but a humility.”
The Lakers haven’t made the playoffs in five seasons, but that won’t lessen the expectations in James’ first season in SoCal. The 33-year-old star has made eight straight NBA Finals appearances and will want to challenge the defending champion Golden State Warriors for Western Conference supremacy in Year 1.
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