Report- LeBron James: Lakers star left surprised at having to do THIS more | Other | Sport

LeBron James: Lakers star left surprised at having to do THIS more | Other | Sport

The Lakers hit the jackpot in the offseason by signing James as a free agent and immediately jump-starting their hopes of building a title-challenging team.

The 33-year-old signed a four-year deal and despite his advancing years, is still seen as the best player in the NBA.

But one key aspect to helping James elongate his career to make sure he is ready to compete when it matters is managing his minutes.

He led the league in average minutes per game last season and played all 82 regular season games as well as playing more gamete than anyone else during the postseason.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was almost a necessity for James to carry the ball and do it all for the Eastern Conference outlet.

That is none more evident by how poorly the Cavaliers have performed this season without James on their roster.

But with the Lakers, who have a young and exciting core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, it was expected to be different and slightly easier on James’ body.

He isn’t playing quite as much minutes as last season, averaging 35 per game, but he has often been the ball-dominant player in the closing stages of matches.

In last night’s win over the Indiana Pacers, James took over the game by scoring 12 points in the final five minutes.

And speaking after the victory, the four-time MVP admitted heading into the season that he didn’t expect to be leading plays as much as he has been.

“I figured I wouldn’t have the ball in my hands as much coming into the season knowing we have multiple ball handlers on our team with Zo and ‘Do,” James said.

“BI [Brandon Ingram], Lance [Stephenson], Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] as well.

“Those guys have the ability to make plays as well.

“But I’m available any time we need a play to be made.

“It is a challenge for me and is an adjustment for me.

“It’s whatever it takes to try to help our ball club be as great as we can be toward the end of the season.

“And at the same time getting better every day.”