Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has admitted to already thinking about plans for the 2022-23 season after a disappointing end to this year’s campaign.
During his exit interview, James said he’s started to mull over options that would allow the Lakers to put together a championship-caliber roster again.
“We want to be better next year and that’s the most important thing for the summer,” the 37-year-old said.
But the four-time NBA champion has also set a personal goal for the summer: figuring out how he can get to the free-throw line more often.
“I want to figure out how to trick the refs. I want to figure it out. I need to figure it out,” James said.
“I see too many stats about points in the paint and things of that nature and I’m up there in the top leaderboard. Field goals in the restricted area and things of that nature. I’m like in the bottom tier of free throws per game. Got to figure it out.
“Listen, man. I’m going to figure it out. I used to be up there pre-Miami. Pre-Miami I was in the leaderboard of free-throw attempts and I think when I went there that changed.”
James’ free throw rate has indeed halved since his early days in the NBA. The forward was tied for the most freebies per game with Kevin Durant (10.2) in 2009-10 and came up second (10.3) behind Dwight Howard in 2007-08.
James has recorded three of his career’s four lowest season free throw attempt averages since joining the Lakers. He went to the charity stripe 5.7 times per game in 2019-20 and 2020-21, and shot 6.0 free throws per night this year.
James still hungry for more NBA championships
James failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second time during his four-years spell with the Lakers. Even though his tenure in L.A. will forever be remembered for the 2019-20 title run, the superstar said he still craves championship glory.
“I came here to win a championship and I want to win more,” James said in his exit interview. “I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, but I’m still hungry for more. I’m confident that this organization wants the same. It’s what this organization has always been about.
“I also just wanted to change the narrative how this franchise can compete at a high level again. What they’ve done decade and decade and decades of winning.”
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