EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- LeBron James will make his Staples Center debut as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets as he continues to check off a series of firsts with his new franchise.
"It's a new beginning, a new start, it's a new excitement for myself," James said after shootaround Tuesday. James scored nine points in 15 minutes in his first action with the Lakers on Sunday, a 124-107 loss to the Nuggets in San Diego.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said James' playing time will continue to be limited in his team's second exhibition game.
"(Fans) will see a lot of him, he'll be in the building," Walton said. "But as far as on the court, he will get him out there again to start the game and take it from there."
How many minutes will that mean?
"Between two and 48," Walton said. "He will play more than one. Progress. A little bit each and every day."
James saved himself some time after the game Sunday, taking a helicopter from San Diego back toward his home in Brentwood. He said he has traveled by chopper "from time to time." James had a charitable appearance on Saturday evening before using the helicopter to join his teammates in Temecula on Saturday night. He then took a bus with the team to San Diego before flying back home.
Laker fans will recall helicopters being a preferred mode of transportation for Kobe Bryant when he made his commute from Newport Beach to downtown L.A. on game days.
Walton also said he will continue to adjust his rotation on the fly, starting Josh Hart in place of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on Tuesday in order to "get a couple different looks" as to how his first and second units mesh together with the change.
"I talked with KCP," Walton said. "Everything he's done all training camp is perfect, it's exactly what we asked him to do. He's come in, he's playing defense, he's shooting when he's open. So, keep doing it. Just do it with the second group. Because no matter who we end up starting, they're going to be playing with different groups throughout the game. So, it can't just be one group and then another group comes out. We got to get guys comfortable playing with each other."