Sunday, October 17 2021
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LeBron James opened the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2020 season by hosting a minicamp in Las Vegas to help get his new roster better acquainted before training camp. That move paid serious dividends with the Lakers winning the 2020 title. The condensed 2020 offseason seemingly prevented the Lakers from taking a similar approach last offseason, though. The Lakers had only 73 days after winning Game 6 of the Finals to prepare for opening night, and free agents joined the team mere weeks before the season began. They ultimately wound up losing in the first round of the postseason.

Now, James is hoping to recapture his team’s 2020 form. He will be hosting a three-day minicamp in Las Vegas for the Lakers this weekend, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Lakers obviously have a number of new players to integrate into their roster, but there will also be some familiar faces. Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo played for the Lakers in 2020, left last season and have since returned. That will help the Lakers find the team culture that helped them win the title in 2020 as early as possible. 

The story of the Lakers season, though, is the addition of Russell Westbrook. As Charania notes, the 2020 minicamp helped James adjust to new teammate Anthony Davis before the season began. Now, this camp will give both some extra time to work with Westbrook, a notoriously difficult player to fit with, considering his limitations as a shooter. It is going to take the entire roster time to figure out how to play off of the three superstars, so the earlier they can start, the better. 

Lakers training camp will officially open on Sep. 28. The preseason comes soon after, starting on Oct. 3. It may not have been squeezed into quite as tight a time period as last year’s, but this was a condensed offseason as well. The Lakers didn’t have as much time to prepare for the season as they otherwise would have, so it’s imperative that they take advantage of the time they do have, and it seems as though they’re doing just that. 



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