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"I always kind of compare it to like instant oatmeal".

The four-time MVP appeared frustrated at various stages and was a bit rusty after sending a couple of wild passes out of bounds as he takes time to adjust to playing with his new teammates.

After five years of rebuilding through the NBA Draft, the Lakers changed the landscape when they signed James to a four-year, $154 million contract.

"I don't think you could ever have LeBron James and not try to win now", he said of the former Cleveland Cavalier and Miami Heat forward, who has appeared in eight successive NBA Finals. The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Lakers 128-119, extending their winning streak over the Lakers to 16 games.

National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James' impending debut with the Los Angeles Lakers generated a major uptick in merchandise sales and ticket demand ahead of the 2018-19 season.

The Lakers opened the game by missing their first 15 3-point shots before Josh Hart (20 points) made the team's first trey with 2:22 left in the third quarter. In practice building up to Thursday's contest against Portland, Ball was scrimmaging with the second unit with the first unit consisting of Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram, LeBron James and JaVale McGee.

"It (is) going to take patience from our team, from all of us", James said. "We want to get there. Us just trying to get a feel for one another".

The Lakers face the Houston Rockets on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Action, when the Staples Center will be packed to the rafters.