Since the Lakers have a ton of new players, many aren't expecting them to get off to the best start. Los Angeles shot 48.4 percent from the field but was only 7 of 30 on 3-point attempts.
"I'll tell you, when Jeanie Buss came to me and said: 'I really want to go after [LeBron],' I said: 'Jeanie, he's not coming here until you clean up this s- here.'" Bryant told The Undefeated, when asked how involved he was in securing the James deal.
James scored a game-high 26 points and had 12 rebounds but the Portland Trail Blazers spoiled his Lakers debut with a 128-119 victory at the Moda Center arena.
LeBron James said the team needed to work on its chemistry and it would take time to develop.
This was Portland's 16th successive win over the 16-time National Basketball Association champions, dating back to 2013. I liked the way we competed at times. "I liked the way we shared the ball at times, as well".
Just three minutes into his debut with the Showtime Lakers on Thursday night, James threw down a thunderous dunk that made clear he hadn't lost a step since his dominant days as a Cleveland Cavalier. "They are not going to beat Golden State or Houston", he said.
For now, most expect Lakers coach Luke Walton's starting lineup to include young guns Hart and Ingram alongside veterans Rondo, McGee and James. He's the best player in the world for a reason.
James finished with six assists but at times he also looked out of sync with his new mates, such as when he tried a behind the back pass with 20 seconds left in the game to someone under the basket.
He played with the Heat from 2010-2014, winning two championships there.