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LeBron James was criticized for his lack of effort on defense by some fans but the King has made sure to prove everybody wrong this season, stepping up his defensive game, helping the Lakers even when he’s not the best player at the offense.

That has served as an inspiration for his teammate, as Kyle Kuzma recently revealed. Kuz believes that is the way LeBron is telling everybody it’s ‘championship time’ after a couple of bad seasons for the purple and gold.

Via Christian Rivas of Silver Screen and Roll:

“Seeing him play defense just lights a fire under everyone’s butt,” Kuzma said of James. “It’s championship time, and he’s just being a great leader by showing us the way. Especially starting on the defensive end, (in) year 17 getting after it. He’s had great leadership throughout the quarantine, training camp and even now.”

LeBron’s reputation in the last games of the regular season and the playoffs is well known. During the first three games in the Orlando bubble, James has been showing his defense while letting Anthony Davis take control of the offense.

LeBron had already warned everybody that he was going to play defense this year and he keeps demonstrating that.

“I know you can read and seeing I haven’t been playing defense the last couple of years, but it’s a new year. It’s a new year,” James told a referee in 2019.

He’s ready to activate playoff LeBron and Lakers fans can’t be more excited about it.