It was major news in the basketball community when LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month. Now, ESPN reports that the general manager of the Lakers, Rob Pelinka, has said that they have built their team in free agency "very differently than the past ones" to surround LeBron James with versatile defenders and not fall into the trap of just offensively attacking champions, Golden State Warriors.
Pelinka claims that the Lakers specifically added versatile players to defend to play around James as a way to defeat the NBA champions.
He says: "If your goal is to win a championship, you've got to look at the way the champs are assembled and how you can give yourself the best chance to take them down. It is certainly part of the equation. ... I think to try to play the Warriors at their own game is a trap. No one is going to beat them at their own game, so that is why we wanted to add these elements of defense and toughness and depth and try to look at areas where we will have an advantage."
Rondo, Stephenson, McGee and Caldwell-Pope were added or re-added to the Lakers after LeBron signed on to "load up" on the tenacious, versatile playmakers.
"If you study championship and playoff teams of the past, if you look at Michael Jordan having a player like Dennis Rodman, look at Kobe's teams with Metta, having a tough player that brings an edge to the game like Lance is a really nice ingredient. That I think with LeBron's leadership will pervade to our young core as well and just give them a sense of swagger and toughness."
"We wanted tough two-way players that can defend with a level of toughness and also make shots. Listen, the road to the NBA championship has to go through the team that won last year, and we all know the guys up north have a special group. But one of the ways to attack what they have is with defensive toughness."
Keep up with the Culture Kings Blog for all the latest in Sport, Music and Streetwear.
Header image from AZCentral.com
Information for this article sourced from ESPN.com