LeBron James is currently enjoying the rest of his offseason before the LA Lakers report to training camp. He has remained busy vacationing, working out and even taking his eldest son on an official visit to Ohio State. With the NFL season underway, James noticed a gift Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin delivered to his team.
Black Air Force Ones have become synonymous with violence in a long-running online joke. Tomlin was clearly making a play on this joke while attempting to set the tone for his team's Week 1 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are a divisional rival of the Steelers. James took note of Tomlin's desire to set the tone.
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Mike Tomlin is the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL, behind only the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick. In his 15 years as coach, Tomlin has never had a losing season, which is the longest streak in history.
This isn't the first time that James has given Tomlin a shoutout. In November 2020, LeBron James showed the coach some love as the Steelers went undefeated and outplayed expectations.
While Tomlin has consistently had teams outperforming expectations, James will look to do the same in the upcoming season. Expectations for the LA Lakers are very low, as many have them outside the playoffs. Some even have them outside the play-in tournament.
James will look to change the narrative and take the team on a run as he seeks his fifth championship.
Can LeBron James and the LA Lakers outperform expectations?
The LA Lakers will likely feature two of the top-10 most talented players in the NBA. However, neither LeBron James nor Anthony Davis have shown the ability to stay healthy since winning the championship in 2019-20. If both stars are able to get healthy for a change, the Lakers could be much better off this season.
Factoring in the return of Davis and the key defensive addition of Patrick Beverley, the Lakers' defense should improve significantly. They allowed the 28th most points last season. If the Lakers can somehow get Russell Westbrook to fit in with the roster then they could potentially be a fringe contender.
In addition to their health issues, the Lakers were unable to get much out of Westbrook. A sixth-man role could be in the best interests of both parties. This would allow Westbrook to play his game without James and Davis eating into his touches.