Dwyane Wade says it would be wrong to count against LeBron James leading Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals this season.
LeBron brought his second spell with Cleveland Cavaliers to an end by joining the Lakers on a four-year contract last month and he will certainly bring a winning mentality to the Staples Center.
The Lakers have not reached the NBA Finals since they last won the championship in 2010, but LeBron certainly knows what it takes to reach that stage of the competition, as he has appeared in the last eight Finals with either the Cavaliers or Miami Heat.
The 33-year-old will have his work cut out if he is to maintain that impressive record in LA, as he will be working with a young Lakers team, while he is also moving into the highly competitive Western Conference for the first time in his career.
Reigning NBA champions Golden State Warriors are expected to be the frontrunners in the Western Conference once again alongside Houston Rockets, but Wade, who played with LeBron at Cleveland, insists the Lakers cannot be ruled out with the four-time MVP in their ranks.
“Well, first do not count him out, that would be the wrong thing to do,” Wade told ESPN. “I think in his mind, he prepares to go to the Finals every year. That is the God-given ability and talent that he has been gifted and given.”
“It (joining the Lakers) definitely has added another amazing chapter to his storybook career, and we are all going to watch to see how it unfolds, but I would never count that guy out.”