Lakers Writer: "Coach LeBron" Embracing Mentor Role

James knows the Lakers have a long way to go, and he's willing to be patient, Trevor Lane says

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 26, 2018 - 8:20 am

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After opening the season with three straight losses, the Los Angeles Lakers have won back-to-back games, including their first home win of the season on Thursday, a 121-114 win over Denver. 

LeBron James led the Lakers in points (28), rebounds (11) and assists (11) and looks happy in Los Angeles.

“He’s been preaching patience from day one,” LakersNation senior writer Trevor Lane said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “He’s been saying there’s going to be bumps along the way. It’s going to take time. This team is going to look a lot better in January or February than they do right now. He’s been praising the young guys and the growth, pretty much saying what you’d be hoping for him to say. He’s got some people wondering, ‘Is he going to grow tired of the growing pains? Is he going to grow tired of losing close games?’ But so far, he’s given no indication of that. It seems he’s been enjoying his time in Los Angeles.”

James, 33, has become an instant mentor to his young teammates, almost playing the role of “Papa.” This was on full display in the Lakers’ 131-113 win over Phoenix on Wednesday.

“There was some time in the third quarter where the Lakers were up 20, and LeBron was still on the floor. It was pretty clear he wasn't going to play the fourth quarter,” Lane said. “So you saw LeBron just standing at the top of the key right outside the three-point line. He would just collect the ball and dribble it a few times and then throw a pass. He wouldn’t really cut or move from that spot very much. He was kind of in Coach LeBron mode. He was kind of just hanging out letting the young guys do their thing and then hitting them with nice passes. He’s definitely been good at that, been good at preserving himself in that way. It seems like he’s enjoying setting up these guys and trying to build their games and get them to the next level.”