James told reporters he’s comfortable playing and thriving at any position on the court.
“We have so many different lineup packages that we can probably go to throughout the course of the season,” James said. “So we’re just trying out a few things now in practice — going with smaller lineups, going with bigger lineups, going with quicker lineups, going with slower lineups. But that’s the luxury of having our personnel — we have the ability to do multiple things. So that’s what practice is all about, being able to work on those things.”
Besides using James at the 1 and Davis at the 5, Vogel used a closing lineup of Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Avery Bradley with the first unit.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” James said. “I do whatever it takes for us to win. So it doesn’t matter. I’m a ballplayer. I’m not a point guard, I’m not a shooting guard, a small forward, power forward or a center. I’m just a ballplayer. You put me on the floor, and I can make things happen with whoever is on the floor. So I’m just looking forward to getting out there with my teammates because it’s exciting. It’s fun.”
As James enters his 17th season, Vogel is trusting his star to manage his role — to some extent — as he deems fit.
“He’s going to have the green light to defer at any point throughout the game and throughout the season, as he’s done again throughout his whole career, to be the primary playmaker,” Vogel said. “If he’s handled three or four straight times and is winded, he can defer and give it to somebody else to bring it up. The great thing is we have wings who can initiate offense, but we also play through Anthony Davis at the top, in terms of bringing it up and playing a five-out system. His skill set is so ridiculously versatile that we can play through him as well.”