LeBron will 'elevate' Lakers, says Nash

LeBron James and his two sons attend a Los Angeles movie premiere in September

The highly anticipated bout between James and the Lakers and the two-time defending champion Warriors takes place for the first time on Christmas Day.

"It's just fun to have our full group, " James said. Most of the NBA insiders were sure of him going to LA to play basketball. I play ball, that's what I do. When I do it at the level I do, everything else will take care of itself.

And there is a slew of evidence to refute the notion that the four-time Most Valuable Player, who turns 34 in December, is a fading force.

Buss apologized to Lakers fans, who have seen the organization, which has won 16 National Basketball Association championships, fall on hard times.

Philadelphia was another team in the sweepstakes for James' services this past offseason, and although the 76ers came up empty, they still feature a strong team that includes rising stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

And the West coast crowd got a chance to soak up a bit of his magic after he scored the highlight of a win for the Lakers against last year's National Basketball Association champions, Steph Curry's Golden State Warriors, with a buzzer-beater from downtown in a pre-season tie in Las Vegas last night.

"That would be awesome", Thompson told ESPN. "He's passed up legends, made his mark and has three rings".

Statistically, the odds favor James. In a 15-year career, his teams have won 50 or more games in 11 seasons and his arrival should be good enough to take the Lakers, who finished with 35 wins last year, into the post-season. Add 2,000 or so points to James' total of 31,038, and only No. 3 Kobe Bryant, No. 2 Karl Malone and No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - all former Lakers - would still be ahead of him.

My decision was based exclusively on my family and the Lakers.

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He never emerged, with Hatice Cengiz raising the alarm over the disappearance of her fiancée. You will put me in trouble", he reportedly told the team.

The Lakers may be one more big acquisition away from really starting a rivalry with Golden State, but the sight of James already making his teammates better had to make them believe good times are coming in Los Angeles.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr is a happy man these days.

The second quarter began much better for Ball as he caught an alley-oop from James and threw it down with a two-hand slam that was probably the highlight of the night. We're all new to each other.

"But at the end of the day, in order to win, your teams have to be great".

"That was the idea. You can't go from the bottom to the top overnight, you have to keep taking those steps".

Instead he opted for the Lakers, mired in mediocrity after the worst five-year period in club history and failing to make the playoffs since 2013. That got the crowd on their feet, as you might expect.

In an apparent effort to prove his sons are up to date with his young Lakers teammates, James revealed a little secret about the boys' drinking habits in the process.

There was LeBron James, still somewhat of a startling sight in purple and gold. He missed Los Angeles' first four preseason games as he continues his recovery from offseason knee surgery to fix a torn left meniscus. "His communications skills are incredible, and it's contagious and it helps the whole team".

The Lakers kick off the new season on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday before they take on the Houston Rockets in their home opener at the Staples Centre on Oct 20.

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