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What does success look like for LeBron’s Lakers?

In the moments after the Game 1 loss in the NBA Finals in May, a combination of rage, frustration and disappointment led LeBron James to explode in the visitors’ locker room in Oakland and punch a whiteboard, cracking a bone in his hand.

James’ teammates and coaches had never seen James quite in that state. It was an extreme example of his intense competitive spirit. Even though his Cleveland Cavaliers were heavy underdogs to the Golden State Warriors, James very much believed that he could lead the team to an upset.

This is James’ personality, it’s who he is. He plays to win and he competes at the highest level regardless of the circumstance. As he has said on numerous occasions: “Any team that has me has a chance.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

When he doesn’t win, it can devastate him. Some of the darkest times in his career have been after Finals losses. His euphoria in 2012, when he got his first title after several Finals defeats, and then in 2016, when he won in Cleveland, were a result of shedding the pain as much as victory.7

In the weeks after this past NBA Finals, James and his friends and family had deep discussions on how he’d psychologically manage a move to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are on a different timeline toward a championship than any team James had been on for more than a decade. Even before his eight straight NBA Finals appearances, he was on back-to-back 60-win teams that were upset before the Finals. For the 2018-19 season, Vegas has the Lakers’ win total pegged at 48.

“Ad nauseum” was how one of the people involved in the decision-making described the frequency of the talks about how different this journey would feel. James’ goals, definition of success and management of failure have to evolve. And those who know him best know it’s going to be an ongoing challenge to accept his new circumstances. After all, the Lakers now have him.

“I’m not a very patient guy, but I understand that I have to be,” James said this week. “I’ve got to be patient with myself too because this is a new start for me.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

James was answering a question about Lakers’ expectations but also repeating a mantra in some respects. Known for posting quotes in his locker and writing reminders on his shoes, perhaps his own quote on the matter would be useful for him to refer to as the next six months unfold.