LeBron James free agency: Cavs star impressed by young Lakers

Ross Houston
March 13, 2018

LOS ANGELES - When LeBron James' name was called when the Cleveland Cavaliers' starting lineup was introduced, Los Angeles Lakers fans greeted the superstar with a warm applause.

Among the many other standard-LeBron things, there was this absolutely ridiculous no-look pass which looked less like a legitimate basketball move and more like something David Blaine would pull out of his ass.

But LeBron was smart enough to see this and fooled the pair by delivering a ridiculous no-look dime into a wide-open Ante Zizic inside for an easy dunk instead.

It doesn't get any smoother than that.

While players are frequently traded and match up with their former teams every night in the NBA, Sunday's matchup had a somewhat different feel. The bruising forward scored 23 points in the second half and went 14 for 18 from the field overall before leaving to a huge late ovation. "As one team source put it, when asked about Thomas in the week leading up to the trade deadline: 'I'm all for an underdog story, but you usually expect some humility to be part of that story". I only played 15 games with them, so it's really not about showing them what I can do. "I keep saying the world knows what I bring, so I don't got to play so good just to show them what they gave away". "The insane thing is, I still think he can be better". "They know what I can do".

After grabbing an offensive rebound, James stood near the top of the key, holding the ball with one hand while surveying the defense.

Yes, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost another game Sunday night.

The Lakers finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor with a plus-14 advantage in rebounds and plus-12 in points in the paint.

"Yeah, they stopped by [the locker room] on their way in - uninvited", Lakers coach Luke Walton deadpanned before the game. The Lakers' entire season has been created to prove their young core would fit splendidly around James, Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins - or failing that, the top free agents in the class of 2019.

LeBron James has an easy explanation as to why the Cavaliers have only won half their games since their massive roster overhaul in February: Half the team is injured.

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