There's probably no one who's more excited to see the new NBA season start than Magic Johnson.
The Los Angeles Lakers president closed one of the biggest deals of his life when he bagged LeBron James for his team this summer and he's just itching to see it pay off.
Sitting next to team general manager Rob Pelinka on Thursday night, Magic - who won five rings as a player with the Lakers - gave the media a bit of insight on what it's been like to witness the Ohio native as he prepares himself for the upcoming campaign and opened up on the feel-good atmosphere, as well as the competitiveness, surrounding the entire team at the moment.
“Just to see all of them together playing a pickup game, oh my goodness,” Johnson exclaimed. “It’s something to watch. I’ve watched LeBron from afar. I’ve been at many of his games. But to watch him in the gym is a whole different thing. How much he makes everybody better, but also how he raises everybody’s level of play. His basketball IQ and his leadership ability, it’s all on display.
“I mean, they are going hard. It’s physical. It’s tough. There’s trash talking. It’s just a lot of fun, and also a lot of teaching at the same time. It’s really great to see these young guys getting a chance to learn from champions.”
Johnson also revealed that James is already in "midseason form" and is hitting all sorts of shots in training.
“LeBron comes in, and he’s already in midseason form and shooting fadeaways and 3-pointers from almost half-court,” he said with a wide smile. “And you’re sitting there saying, ‘Man, thank God we signed him.’”
As for the side's depth, Johnson and Pelinka both agree that they have a strong enough roster to compete for honors in the upcoming season, with multiple options at every position.
"We feel we have two players at every position; a starter and then a backup to that person,” Johnson explained.
“A lot of people have said this is one of the deepest rosters in the NBA, and that is an extreme strength to us," Pelinka added.