Darvin Ham on LeBron James’ ‘athleticism’ and ‘burst’ will have Lakers fans hyped for 2023-24 season

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham provided a positive update on superstar LeBron James and his recovery from his foot injury that he dealt with last season.

It’s great news that James is not only healthy, but that the star is regaining the athleticism that makes him such a tough player to face on both ends of the floor.

Even though he was dealing with a foot injury last season, James still made a massive impact for the Lakers.

The four-time NBA champion averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 regular season.

Los Angeles ended up with the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and the team knocked off the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors in the playoffs to make the Western Conference Finals. The team ended up losing to the Denver Nuggets, but it was still a successful playoff run.

James was a huge part of the Lakers’ playoff success, as he averaged 24.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game during the team’s run.

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer is under contract with the Lakers through the 2023-24 season and has a player option for the 2024-25 campaign, and he could keep playing beyond that if his body can hold up.

Injuries have taken a bit of a toll on James during his time with the Lakers. He’s only played over 56 games in a season once during his five campaigns in Los Angeles.

However, the season he did play more than 56 games (67 in the 2019-20 campaign), the Lakers ended up winning the NBA title.

Los Angeles has improved its depth this offseason, bringing back key players like D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, while also adding Taurean Prince, Christian Wood, Cam Reddish, Gabe Vincent and Jaxson Hayes.

Hopefully, the Lakers roster can withstand an injury to James if he deals with another ailment in the 2023-24 season.

For now, the Lakers should be excited to have their superstar player back healthy ahead of the regular season. James has played at such a high level despite his age that it’s hard not to expect similar numbers from him in the 2023-24 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.