LeBron James leading the Lakers even during coronavirus shutdown — Press Telegram

One thing hasn’t changed about this not-very-normal new normal: LeBron James setting the tone. Even from home, James’ perspective has been sought regularly by Lakers Coach Frank Vogel and General Manager Rob Pelinka, the latter said. “Everybody knows that LeBron is a pro’s pro,” Pelinka said on a recent Zoom call with reporters. “The way…

LeBron James leading the Lakers even during coronavirus shutdown — Press Telegram

“Everybody knows that LeBron is a pro’s pro,” Pelinka said on a recent Zoom call with reporters. “The way he dedicates himself to his profession is unparalleled and has been in this time. And in terms of what he does on a daily basis … I know he’s been committed to leadership, he’s been committed to continuing to inspire his teammates.

“Anthony Davis has also done that. It’s a special group of guys. They want to stay connected, they want to stay ready. If we’re fortunate enough or blessed enough that the health officials and the league find a way for us to get back to playing basketball, I know from a physical standpoint and a mindset standpoint, those two guys will be as good as any athlete in the world at staying mentally and physically ready.”

And mentally, James expressed a determination to remain upbeat, sounding not like a leader of the Lakers alone, but a leader in a broader sense.

“I think for me, mentally, I’m always pretty optimistic about everything. I feel like there’s always greener on the other side of the fence,” James said on a different Zoom call Wednesday. “I believe that this is a roadblock for all of us, not only as Americans, but for the world. This is a roadblock, it’s a test for all of us. It’s a test of our mental side, our spiritual side, it’s a test for everything.

“We grew so comfortable with how we live our life that it’s now time to take a pause. I’m very optimistic about not only just basketball, but sport. It’s not just about the Lakers, it’s not just about the NBA, but it’s everything.”

That said, James is very much in tune with what’s happening with his team – which was 49-14 and sitting atop the Western Conference standings at the start of this unprecedented pause, brought about by the pandemic that’s killed more than 100,000 people worldwide.

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