Were LeBron’s ‘winning’ comments a sign for his Lakers future?


The story of the Los Angles Lakers season seems to be the same after every game: LeBron James puts in a high-scoring effort with multiple assists and rebounds, but it’s nowhere near enough to help his team win.

It happened again Wednesday night when James scored 27 points with nine rebounds and six assists in a 112-98 loss to the Miami Heat. While James, who turns 38 on Friday, said he wasn’t sure how much longer he’ll play, the one thing he’s sure of is that he doesn’t like losing, as the Lakers fell to 14-21 in the game. season with Wednesday’s loss.

“I’m a winner and I want to win,” James said after the game. “And I want to win and give myself a chance to win and still compete for championships. That’s always been my passion. That’s always been my goal since I came into the league as an 18-year-old kid Akron, Ohio. .

“And I know it takes steps to get there, but once you get there and you know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to play basketball is not in my DNA. It’s not in my DNA anymore. So it we will. see what happens and see how fresh my mind stays for the next two years.”

At seven games below their .500 record, the Lakers are 3.5 games out of a playoff spot as James faces the brink of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Shannon Sharpe liked James’ message after the Lakers’ most recent loss, believing it was a message to general manager Rob Pelinka that he needs to fix things to maximize James’ performance this season.

“He said, ‘Look at the level I’m playing at, and it’s all for nothing,'” Sharpe said on Thursday’s “Undisputed.” “I’m going to average 27, 28 points per game, eight rebounds and seven assists and guess what? I’m going to be home again. I’m probably going to miss the playoffs for the third time in five seasons since I got to Los Angeles. .’

“It’s not about that. It says that once you get to a certain level, and the big guys get to that level, you’re just not good enough to play that well. It’s almost like they’re playing meaningless basketball.”D ‘okay, I did this’. but what’s the point? I’ve played like this, I invest what I invest, I’m away from my family both mentally and physically, and what’s the point? What’s the point of doing this?”.

Skip Bayless, however, believes James is reaping what he sowed. He mentioned how he believes James pressured the Lakers front office to trade Anthony Davis. While Bayless thinks it was a good trade for them, it also left them locked in for the future as they gave up three young players, three first round picks and multiple trades of picks since Davis is out indefinitely .

“That’s not right for LeBron,” Bayless said. “I don’t want to hear it now. I don’t think his teammates want to hear it now. He’s better than that. I get it, he wants to win and he’s embarrassed to be in the middle of it. But, The thing is, he had a lot to to do with putting himself in the middle of it because the bigger picture is that even though the ‘GOAT’ needs a scapegoat, and he seems to be deflecting the blame onto Rob Pelinka.”

Bayless also added that if James cared more about winning like he said, he could have found a better way to make it work.

“The point was they paid for the transportation,” Bayless said. “It was $44 million and $47 million. Then LeBron wanted top dollar, so they gave him top dollar. I tell you over and over, there’s another way to do it. If you want to give Rob Pelinka a little more flexibility, you could go the Tim Duncan route because for these last three years in San Antonio, he took minimum salaries to be able to maximize his bench.”

On the bright side, James is likely to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabar as the leading scorer in NBA history this season, and is likely to break his record for most consecutive All-Star starts, which is of 18. But Sharpe believes that’s “not good enough for James, as he believes some people will remember James for not making the playoffs in three of his first five seasons with the Lakers.

That’s why Sharpe thinks it might be time for James to divorce the Lakers.

“Look at this man, he’s averaging 28-8-6 and what’s going on?” Sharpe said. “He averaged 30-8-6 last year and he did what? So he’s basically saying, ‘Rob, what are you going to do with this?’ LeBron may have to take his show on the road. He may have to move on to get what he wants — which is to play at this level and play meaningful basketball down the stretch and this postseason.”


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