Back in the fall of 2019 — before the start of the season where the Lakers would win the 2020 NBA title in the bubble — LeBron James organized a team bonding/pre-training camp workout session for the team in Las Vegas.
With title aspirations but an overhauled Lakers roster, LeBron decided it was time for some bonding in Las Vegas again. LeBron and the Lakers are headed there for a mini-camp, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
LeBron James organizing Lakers team minicamp in Las Vegas ahead of training camp – a similar chemistry-building function to the one hosted before the 2020 title season. Details: pic.twitter.com/Z9c4JnSW1E
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2021
The Lakers not only added Russell Westbrook this offseason but made radical changes to their role players as well: Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn, and DeAndre Jordan are all new to the team, while Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo are back after being with other teams last season. Throw in a more prominent role for Talen Horton-Tucker and there is a lot to figure out for the Lakers with their rotations this season.
What LeBron is doing is not unusual — the Jazz (another title contender from the West) are together for a similar pre-camp workout and bonding weekend in Las Vegas, while the young Rockets team did theirs in the Bahamas. Other teams are doing similar camps as well this summer.
For the Lakers, it makes a lot of sense. They have a lot of chemistry to build this season, and conditioning is going to matter for a team with nine players over the age of 30. Plus, the guys get one last weekend of fun in Las Vegas before the marathon of the NBA season starts.