LeBron James’ move to the Los Angeles Lakers represented a seismic shift in the basketball universe, as perhaps the best player ever joined the league’s most prestigious franchise. It brought on approximately a billion takes, because when big things happen in the world of basketball, folks on the internet are great at taking the focus off of the game itself and placing it on a myriad of other factors.
All the talk about the Lakers roster and what they could do in the first year of the James era was put on hold on Thursday night. For so long, it was speculation, but Thursday gave fans a chance to see LeBron James play a regular season basketball game for the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time.
Because James has a flair for the dramatic, and because few players have ever been as good at imposing themselves on a game, the former league MVP announced his arrival as a Laker during Los Angeles’ game against Portland with a pair of thunderous dunks.
The first was a play that he has perfected, a steal that leads to an uncontested dunk in which he cradles the ball, pulls it back, and finishes with authority. After Damian Lillard responded with a jam of his own, James got the ball, sliced through Portland’s defense, and threw down again.
It’s admittedly a bit weird seeing James in the purple and gold of the Lakers, but with these two dunks, he reminded everyone that all of the chatter that came with his move doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day, what really matters is that he’s still capable of doing the amazing on the basketball court.