>> No matter what uniform I'm in, I'm just always humbled that I'm able to play this game at this level.>> After 15 years playing in either Cleveland or Miami, three time NBA champion, LeBron James, takes to the court Saturday to his Los Angeles debut as a member of the hometown Lakers.
The King's first game in the team's purple and gold didn't go so well. The Lakers lost 128 to 119 on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers. But the equation behind the marriage of the league's best player and its most storied franchise goes well beyond the box score.
Reuters Sports Correspondent, Rory Carroll has more.>> Lebron's 4 year, $154 million contract is part of a broader effort by Laker's President, Magic Johnson, to restore the franchise to basketball relevancy. It's also an effort to inject enthusiasm in a fan base that's seen its team fall on hard times, having missed the play offs the last five seasons.
>> This past summer, LeBron made the decision to take his talents out west, after spending his entire career in the eastern conference. That would be 11 combined years with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, and an additional four years with the Miami Heat. His new team will be facing powerful regional rivals, most significantly The Golden State Warriors, who have made the Bay Area the basketball capital of California in the past five years by winning three titles.
Meanwhile back east, James's move leaves the conference lacking in star power.>> LeBron's move creates a vacuum in the Eastern Conference. And provides a great opportunity for the likes of Joel Embiid in the Philadelphia 76ers or Kyrie Irving in the Boston Celtics to hone their skills in the regular season, before facing one of the West juggernauts in the NBA finals in June.
>> No one is expecting LeBron's Lakers to take the title, at least not this year. But they are hoping a young exciting team to catch up to the rest of the West.>> We can't expect anything, and I think that's.