LeBron will suit up for Lakers’ pre-season opener

LeBron James at the Los Angeles Lakers’ Media Day prior to the 2018-19 NBA season. (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles Lakers fans will get a first chance to see newly acquired superstar LeBron James playing in the team’s purple and gold in a pre-season game on Sunday — but if they blink they could miss it.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton confirmed in comments on the team’s website on Saturday that four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James will play in the exhibition opener against the Denver Nuggets in San Diego.

“It will be more than one and less than 48,” Walton said of how many minutes James might play.

At practice earlier this week James indicated that even with a new team he didn’t think he needed too much pre-season action at this stage of his career.

“I don’t need pre-season games to get ready,” he said.

James played just one pre-season game last year for the Cleveland Cavaliers as he recovered from a left ankle injury. Over the past three years he has made just six pre-season appearances.

James, 33, joined the Lakers in July on a four-year, $154 million deal sealed just weeks after his Cavs were beaten by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third time in four years.

He arrives in Los Angeles with the Lakers desperately trying to regain their former glory after several years of decline. The Lakers have failed to make the playoffs for five straight seasons.