One by one, the Lakers Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook sat on the post-game podium on Tuesday and explained how they would make this new partnership work.
One by one, starting with Westbrook and then James and finally Davis, they each preached patience and let the process take its course.
They eventually played their first preseason game together, sometimes showing glimpses of what they could become and sometimes showing just how far they had to go during their 111–99 loss to Golden State at Staples Center.
James, after scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebounds, giving four assists and turning the ball six times in 26, said, “It’s going to take us a minute to become the team we know we’re going to be capable of.” Huh.” Minutes and 9 seconds of play.
“So, it’s just about working on the process, being patient with the process, understanding that we’re going to have frustrating moments. We’re going to have moments where we’re not quite right. We can take a step back. But that’s part of it all… I think there’s nothing worth doing if it’s not worth doing and I think we’re going to hit some moments where we feel like we’re right there But we are not enough.
Lakers loyalists waited patiently to see James, Davis and Westbrook on the court at the same time, wondering how the NBA’s latest trio would tie up.
Davis played his part in 30:12 with 20 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Westbrook had 10 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five turnovers.
The Lakers’ last exhibition game is in Sacramento on Thursday before they begin the regular season at home against the Warriors next Tuesday.
With the 82-game season approaching, Westbrook was asked how long he thought the process would take.
“I don’t have the answer, honestly,” he said. “I know that’s the question everybody keeps asking. Like, nobody has the real answer. We’re going to play like every other team and then we’re going to find out.
“We don’t need to figure out that October 18, 19, whenever the first game happens. We have a goal in mind and that is to win the championship. So, throughout the season, there will be ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs. As long as we’re together and on the same page, that’s all that matters.”
Davis saw some positivity in putting himself, James, and Westbrook together on the court.
They had shown in practice how deadly they could be, but they needed to make it into a game.
“Yeah, we saw some great things with us, Braun and Russ in action,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of … infinite possibilities, things we can run into and we can do. And especially with Mello on the back with shooters [Carmelo Anthony] more bales [Kent Bazemore] – All our shooters. Still, an adjustment. We’ve done it a lot in practice but tonight is the first time we’re playing on the field together. And even though there were good things, there were a lot of things we could do better. We can still work on our defensive plans as a unit.”