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Lakers

LeBron James proud of Lakers’ season, but he would like closure

Lakers forward LeBron James listens to the national anthem before a game on Jan. 5, 2020, at Staples Center.
Lakers forward LeBron James listens to the national anthem before a game this season at Staples Center.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The James household has a new personal trainer. His name is LeBron. He trains his wife, Savannah. He trains his son, Bronny, who also shoots with him when they are given access to private facilities owned by friends.

James has settled into a routine during an unprecedented April, one where COVID-19 has halted the NBA season and so much of society.

“How do you assess what’s going on over the last three weeks or however long this pandemic has been going on? It’s unnatural,” James said during a Zoom video call with about two dozen reporters Wednesday. “It’s something that’s never happened before. Some of you guys are older than me, probably never seen this happen before. You just kind of take all the information you have on a day-to-day basis.”

James knows one thing for sure though.

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If the NBA season can’t resume, it will be left incomplete for James and his teammates, but not without special moments.

“I will have some satisfaction of being with my brothers, being with my guys, thinking about some of the road trips that we had, thinking about some of the games we lost, some of the games we won, some of the games we overcame, and then everything we’ve been going through this season,” James said. “Just the ups and downs not only on the floor but off the floor, everything that we’ve had to endure as Laker faithful, us as players and coaching staff and an organization.

“Closure? No, but to be proud of what we were able to accomplish to this point, I’ll be able to look back and say we did something special in that small period of time.”

The Lakers, who clinched their first playoff spot since 2012-13, are in first place in the Western Conference and have the second-best record in the league, after the Milwaukee Bucks.

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James and Anthony Davis have been having regular conference calls with Lakers coach Frank Vogel and general manager Rob Pelinka since the league shut down March 11 after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. He’s had the means to work out at his own home and at the homes of friends who have private facilities in their homes.

Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ general manager and top basketball executive, discusses the uncertain future of the NBA and potential title chase for the team.

“I got a couple friends that have their own indoor facilities,” James said. “They strip it down, wipe it down. It’s pretty much me in there along with my son. It’s just us.”

He misses the camaraderie he built with his teammates but said that the health and safety of players and the public came first.

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“Once they allow us to resume some type of activity, I would love to get things back going,” James said. “… If it’s Las Vegas or somewhere else that can hold us and keep us in the best possible chance to be safe, not only on the floor but off the floor as well. Those conversations will be had.”

A look at how sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, MLS, NBA and NHL, are responding to the coronavirus outbreak.


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