Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving appeared in the black uniforms of the Brooklyn Nets. Anthony Davis wore the Los Angeles Lakers‘ home gold uniform. Russell Westbrook donned Houston Rockets‘ red for the first time.
New season, new looks.
The first five media days of the new NBA year took place Friday with the Lakers, Nets, Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings holding the annual prequels to the first practice. And in Miami, where media day isn’t officially until Monday, Jimmy Butler did his first interviews wearing a new Heat jersey — one he famously said years ago that he’d never wear.
Clearly, Day 1 of camp season wasn’t hurting for star power.
“We want to be able to compete every single night and obviously we know what the long-term goal is,” three-time NBA champion LeBron James said at Lakers’ media day. “But it’s all about the process of today.”
James and the Lakers are entering a season of massive expectations, largely because of Davis coming to L.A. James said he wants the Lakers to run offense through Davis much in the same way he wanted it run through Irving when they were teammates in Cleveland — citing the potential for such a ploy to create mismatches and opportunities for others.
“It’s exciting to have such a beautiful young mind,” James said.
But expectations are high elsewhere as well.
In Houston, Westbrook and James Harden will form a backcourt that consists of two of the last three NBA MVPs. Westbrook talked about how he and Harden have been close and stayed close going back to their time as teammates together in Oklahoma City.
“The bigger picture obviously in the NBA is the championships and MVPs and all that nonsense,” Westbrook said. “But for me,