LeBron calls Lakers drafting Bronny 'a dream come true,' talks expectations with J.J. Redick

LAS VEGAS — On Day 1 of LeBron James’ quest for a third Olympic gold medal, he talked mostly about the Los Angeles Lakers.

That’s understandable, given Saturday — the first day of training camp for Team USA — was also James’ first in front of reporters since his NBA team: Drafted his son. Hired a coach. Struck out (so far) on splashy free-agent signings or trades.

“With my son, it’s a dream come true for me,” James said, stating the obvious about the Lakers selecting his son, Bronny James, with the No. 55 pick in the draft last month.

“When they announced his name, it was something that was super surreal,” LeBron continued. “Our family still (doesn’t) have enough words to explain the feeling.”

Before drafting Bronny, Los Angeles selected Dalton Knecht of Tennessee with the No. 17 pick in the draft. LeBron said besides Bronny, Knecht “was my favorite player in college basketball” last season.

“I just liked his ability to shoot the ball, his demeanor, that he played with,” LeBron said. “I’ve always felt his game will translate to the NBA. I did not think he would fall to 17 at all.”

The Lakers also hired LeBron’s former podcast partner, J.J. Redick, as coach. LeBron said “we’re excited about J.J.,” but in a break from many of James’ previous 21 seasons, the expectations he is placing on Los Angeles aren’t all that lofty. James’ teams have won four titles, the last with the Lakers in 2020.

“My expectations are for us to go to work every day, try to get better every day and push each other every day,” he said. “As a captain, we have to hold everybody accountable from a player’s standpoint. We are coming into a new system, so we have to see what Coach Redick and the coaching staff want us to do and go from there.”

This story will be updated.

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(Photo: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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