LeBron James
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

For the first time, LeBron James is playing a game with the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s just a preseason game, but it still looks off.

This is weird, huh? LeBron James takes the floor for the first time in the purple and gold of the Los Angeles Lakers. There was always the chance that LeBron would leave Cleveland after he returned from Miami, but no one saw this coming.

For a majority of his career, the Lakers were Kobe Bryant’s team. No one could ever expect LeBron James to go to Los Angeles.

But it’s all too real and the Lakers are immediately a playoff team with LeBron. Of course, the packed Western Conference won’t be easy for anyone, but it’s hard to imagine a LeBron-led team missing the playoffs in either conference.

James, the biggest splash of 2018 free agency, is leading a team with an eclectic group. There are the young bucks including Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart — budding stars with as much personality as they have skill.

The veterans that followed James include Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, and Lance Stephenson. All four players need no introduction and one can only imagine the types of hijinks those four will get into this season.

Their first (preseason) game started with a bang. Off the tip, Rondo found McGee for an alley-oop. James’ tenure with the Lakers started off with a bang, even if he wasn’t directly involved in the play.

But it didn’t take LeBron long to join the party. His first (preseason) bucket as a Laker came off a long rebound that Rondo kicked out for a deep three. James was pure from four feet beyond the arc.

The Lakers are back and like it or not, that’s a good thing for the NBA. The league is better when teams like the Lakers, Celtics, and Knicks are relevant. Now there’s only one team left in that trio to right the ship.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.