LeBron doesn't include Lakers in list of 'championship-contending teams'
"Us as a young team, we have to continue to get better every day," James told beIN Sports' Remi Reverchon. When asked if the Lakers were a true title contender in 2018-19, he basically said no.
"There are a lot of championship contenders but there can only be one champion. That is the Golden State Warriors," he said. "But you also have the Houston Rockets who are really good, Oklahoma City, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors. There’s a lot of championship-contending teams."
In addition to their youthful roster parts like Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, the Lakers added some question marks alongside James this summer with the likes of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and JaVale McGee. While those players have contributed to past contenders in specific roles, no one would mistake their signings as major moves.
LeBron, who turns 34 in December, appears content to be a teacher of sorts for at least one season, with the Lakers primed to have salary cap space for another max player addition next summer.
James has reached eight straight NBA Finals with two franchises, and the last time his team entered a season not considered a good bet to reach the Finals was likely in 2005-06.