The Los Angeles Lakers fell short of expectations during the first year of the LeBron James era. They posted a 37-45 record amid an injury-plagued season and missed the NBA playoffs by 11 games in the stacked Western Conference.
It led to an offseason of change in L.A. The front office acquired Anthony Davis in a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans and made a series of high-profile free-agent signings, highlighted by Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook and DeMarcus Cousins, who later suffered a torn ACL.
The roster reconstruction provided the backdrop for Friday's 2019 Lakers media day.
"I'm very motivated. I'm just not in talk about it mode," James told reporters. "... My mother always told me. 'Don't talk about it. Be about it.'"
The three-time NBA champ also raved about Davis, who he said will control the offensive flow:
The newest Lakers superstar noted his arrival to the Lakers was driven solely by a desire to chase a championship and he's confident the team can do "something special:"
"I'm excited just to get started," Davis said. "I can't wait until tomorrow."
Along with the new players, the Lakers also have a new head coach in Frank Vogel, who was hired to replace Luke Walton. Vogel has compiled a 304-291 record across eight years as an NBA head coach (six with the Indiana Pacers and two with the Orlando Magic).
"When the belief is strong at the outset, it's about focusing in on the work, and we're looking forward to getting after it," Vogel told reporters.
General manager Rob Pelinka added: "When the starting point of your roster is two of the best players in the universe that's a great starting point. It puts us in a position to be the last team standing."
Cousins' injury also led to an unlikely reunion with Dwight Howard, who previously played for the storied organization during its ill-fated 2012-13 campaign.
The end result of the summer moves is one of the league's deepest rosters, and it could get tested right away with forward Kyle Kuzma still recovering from a foot injury.
"At first I was disappointed because at the time I was with USA Basketball, and that's been one of my dreams. … But at the same time it was good that we caught what I have at the right time," Kuzma said about his injury."
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Lakers as the 2020 NBA championship favorite with +300 odds (bet $100 to win $300). They are followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (+400), Milwaukee Bucks (+550), Philadelphia 76ers (+800), Golden State Warriors (+800) and Houston Rockets (+900).
Anything less than a deep playoff run would be a massive disappointment for the rebuilt Lake Show.