LeBron James felt the responsibility to deliver for the Laker fans and that's what he did on Friday night. James scored 50 against the Washington Wizards to lead the Lakers to a 122-109 victory and help them end their two-game losing streak.
"Listen, the Laker faithful knows when bad basketball is being played and they know when good basketball is being played. They have the right to have any response they want," James said. "They've seen so many great teams, so many great individuals.
... So for me, being a part of this franchise, I feel like I just try to give them an opportunity to have memorable nights as well. "Try to give them something to cheer for, give them something to feel good about on a nightly basis, and I know it hasn't been as great as they would like for it to be this year, but you take the small wins when they come."
James has caught fire
James had a 56-point game against the Golden State Warriors last Saturday.
James has now scored 50 or more points in two of his last three games. "Just always trying to stay present," James said when asked what has been working for him offensively of late. "And when game day is here, I'm here five hours before the game and prepping -- prepping on myself individually, prepping on what I need to do to help this team be victorious, prepping on everything I can possibly do in my power to try to help this team be as great as we can be that night.
So, that's what goes into it." Meanwhile, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is in awe of what James is doing at the age of 37. "The thing that stands out to me is, like, the league has never seen a player at this stage of his career do what he's doing," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
"I think that's the biggest thing that needs to be recognized. It's just unbelievable the level that he's playing at." Anthony Davis has been out for some time now and the Lakers experimented with James at the center. "Maybe after all these years, him playing center was really the best way to utilize him," Vogel said.
"Because that's where he's been doing it, by playing the center position with [Anthony Davis] out. Doing whatever the team needs to win games. And just an incredible, unbelievable, epic performance by LJ."