The 33-year-old knows it's going to take some time for a roster featuring a whole new cast of characters to establish an on-court chemistry before it poses a real threat to the reigning two-time champion Golden State Warriors and their established core.
"We got a long way to go to get to Golden State," James said during the Lakers' media day on Monday, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "They can pick up right where they left off, starting with training camp. ... We are picking up from scratch so we got a long way to go. We can't worry about what Golden State is doing. ... They've been together for a few years now.
"We are all new to each other, we have to take our bumps and our bruises. There are going to be good times and bad times. If we continue to work the process and continue to sacrifice for one another and put in the commitment and time to being great, everything else will fall into place."
James has been a mainstay of the Finals for the last eight years with both the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, and has battled the Warriors for the Larry O'Brien trophy on multiple occasions. Golden State has won three of the last four titles against James and held an 8-1 record over the King's Cavaliers in the last two Finals.
That budding group led the Lakers to their best record since 2013 at 35-47 last season. With James' arrival, failing to surpass that mark and end a six-year playoff drought would be a colossal letdown to some.
"We have the best player in the league," Ball said of James. "And expectations are a lot higher now."