LeBron James believes this season will be "critical" for him and the Los Angeles Lakers after the franchise has missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
"I've never played fantastic basketball," James told Bleacher Report in an article published on Wednesday. "But I'll be as active as I needed to make this franchise better, that's why I came here, I came here to win, and obviously we need to improve, as far as our staff is concerned. "We have an opportunity to get better, and there is a lot of talent and a lot of guys who can help our franchise, so I will be as active as I need to get better and get out of there."
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After the playoffs, the Lakers will enter into a series of speculations on the job security of coach Luke Walton as well as on construction training. Seven of LA's 14 players are about to hit a free agency.
"It's a critical summer for me," James told Bleacher Report. "Obviously, the franchise will live forever, but for me personally, it's very important because I want to be competitive and I want to be competitive now."
James will once again start recruiting to find talent to play alongside him in Los Angeles. He told ESPN's Rachel Nichols in December, before the end of the deal, in the face of the defeat of Pelican New Orleans star Anthony Pelvis, at the Feb. he had always considered recruitment as part of his role.
"I've always recruited," James told Nichols. "I've been trying to bring in guys with me since 2007, for example, I've often been rejected, but I have not been much rejected either."
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James also told Bleacher Report that he believed in the Lakers' ability to land a key element.
"It's so very important to me and my future [for the Lakers to acquire another star this offseason], "James said." And I'm positive and very optimistic that Magic [Johnson] and Rob [Pelinka] and the franchise will be great.
"They've had me, I'm very confident, and I'm confident the players want to play with me, I have a lot of confidence in that."
James, who missed a long stretch due to a groin injury and will finish his first season with the Lakers after playing 55 career games, averaged 27.4 points, 8, 5 rebounds and 8.3 assists.
The Lakers had missed the playoffs only five times over the first 65 years of the franchise's existence, before the current series.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN contributed to this report.