LeBron James has made his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers in his first home game at the Staples Centre – the Lakers home turf – in a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets.
Last night fans and media alike turned out in droves to see the biggest star in the NBA start in the purple and gold, following a highly anticipated move from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason. Leaving for a four-year, $153.3m free-agent deal with the Lakers.
Reportedly up to 10 cameras were trained on LeBron James even before he stepped onto the floor at Staples. They provided an audience when he was sat in the Lakers’ renovated dressing room, with his stall in pretty much the same place as the most famous Laker before him – Kobe Bryant.
In front of a sellout crowd of 18,997 – unusual for a preseason game – the Lakers lost to the Nuggets 113-111. Even through the loss however were glimpses of what we can expect from the new-look Showtime Lakers. Flashes of brilliance from starting point guard Rajon Rondo, one-time LeBron nemesis Lance Stephenson, and a decent effort from JaVale McGee.
The fans got their first LeBron James highlight-reel moment, when the small/power forward threw down a backboard-shaking dunk in transition with 3:17 left in the quarter.
The Lakers’ regular-season opener is on 18 October at Portland. Their home opener is two nights later against the Houston Rockets.
Off the court, hip-hop fan and music tastemaker LeBron has also been busy crafting his own Sport Playlists.
Earlier this month saw the launch new LeBron 16s shoe at the Harlem Fashion Row. The HFR shoe also came with a LeBron-curated playlist featuring only female artists, entitled ‘The Strongest’.
Said LeBron James of the playlist’s inspiration. “I grew up around some amazingly strong women and am inspired by the strength I see around, including my mom, wife, and daughter.”
The playlist features luminaries such as the late Aretha Franklin, Sade and Mary J. Blige, and newcomers from Solange and Lizzo, to Ella Mai.
If you’re looking for more basketball anthems, make sure to follow the Shoot Basketball Playlist on Spotify.