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The Los Angeles Lakers fell short of expectations during the first year of the LeBron James era. They posted a 37-45 record amid an injury-plagued season and missed the NBA playoffs by 11 games in the stacked Western Conference.
It led to an offseason of change in L.A. The front office acquired Anthony Davis in a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans and made a series of high-profile free-agent signings, highlighted by Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook and DeMarcus Cousins, who later suffered a torn ACL.
The roster reconstruction provided the backdrop for Friday’s 2019 Lakers media day.
“I’m very motivated. I’m just not in talk about it mode,” James told reporters. “… My mother always told me. ‘Don’t talk about it. Be about it.'”
The three-time NBA champ also raved about Davis, who he said will control the offensive flow:
NBA TV @NBATV
“It’s exciting to have a beautiful young mind and a great leader as well.”
@KingJames on the addition of Anthony Davis to the roster. #NBAMediaDay (via @SpectrumSN) https://t.co/jVk86mJguE
Harrison D. Sanford @HarrisonSanford
LeBron on running offense through Anthony Davis … https://t.co/cmpuQ70X9h
The newest Lakers superstar noted his arrival to the Lakers was driven solely by a desire to chase a championship and he’s confident the team can do “something special:”
“I’m excited just to get started,” Davis said. “I can’t wait until tomorrow.”
Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Anthony Davis said he’s not thinking ahead to next summer, when he’s a free agent, but that the Lakers have done a lot to make him feel at home in LA. https://t.co/MQBPKG03xu
Ohm Youngmisuk @NotoriousOHM
Anthony Davis on DeMarcus Cousins tearing his ACL and now working with Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee https://t.co/Y4cXVfLJYB
Along with the new players, the Lakers also have a new head coach in Frank Vogel, who was hired to replace Luke Walton. Vogel has compiled a 304-291 record across eight years as an NBA head coach (six with the Indiana Pacers and two with the Orlando Magic).
“When the belief is strong at the outset, it’s about focusing in on the work, and we’re looking forward to getting after it,” Vogel told reporters.
General manager Rob Pelinka added: “When the starting point of your roster is two of the best pla