Game 1 of the NBA Finals couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Angeles Lakers, but LeBron James insists there’s plenty to work on. The Lakers got off to a sluggish start, falling behind by as many as 13 in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter, they saw a 30-plus point lead shrink to as few as 13 before they extended things back out to the eventual 116-98 final score.
Despite those nitpicks, L.A. is in tremendous position to win another championship, which would be the fourth of LeBron’s career and first of Anthony Davis’. In Game 1, both players were sensational, with Davis racking up 34 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while James put forth a 25-point, 13-rebound, nine-assist night. Their partnership has been nothing short of tremendous all season, and has only gotten better this postseason.
On Thursday, LeBron was asked about what’s made he and Davis work so well together in their first year, as they haven’t seemed to encounter the same bumps in the road that, say, the Clippers with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard did. For James, who has played with plenty of other stars in his career, what sets apart his relationship with AD is that there’s no jealousy involved and they want nothing but the best for each other, on and off the floor.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 1, 2020
James has seen how star dynamics play out elsewhere, whether it’s in Miami where he, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all took some time to adapt to each other and learn how they best fit, or in Cleveland where he, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love had their ups and downs. With Davis, James noted both are extremely comfortable in who they are, which is likely a different situation from James’ previous stops where, in Miami, he was still trying to cement his legacy and, in Cleveland, Irving was trying to create his own as a young star. It’s the latter that most assume the jealousy comment is in reference to, and that James said this the same day Irving made some … let’s say interesting comments on feeling like he was always the best option on past teams before playing with KD is at the least an interesting coincidence.
In this case, Davis wanted to join LeBron and they had enough of a relationship before becoming teammates via trade that there were no surprises about how they’d mesh. The result has been a swift and fruitful partnership, one the Lakers hope will result in a championship in the next week-plus, and it seems as though they really, truly have a relationship that’s rare between superstar teammates.