LeBron James has been enduring a tough period in LA with the Lakers, as the ‘King’ isn’t quite able to lead his team to a playoff spot.
After injury struck LeBron James on Christmas day agains the Warriors, things have going south for the Lakers.
Despite returning to full fitness, the Lakers haven’t been able to muster any kind of momentum going into the business end of the regular season.
The team has seemed disjointed, especially after the ugly Anthony Davis trade saga leading into the February 7 trade deadline.
Do you think the Lakers should shut down Lebron James for the rest of the season ❓🤔 pic.twitter.com/kqtukv8xfb
— Sports Daily United (@sdumultimedia) March 3, 2019
“Magic Johnson needs to shut LeBron James down.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 4, 2019
The young core reportedly feel betrayed by LeBron James, as he tried to trade them all for Anthony Davis.
Now, with the Lakers sitting in 10th place in the Western conference, things are getting a little heated in the Lakers camp.
All through the season it seemed as if the Lakers would pick up during the final stretch and make it easily to the playoffs, but that narrative is slowly but surely changing.
And the effect is being felt in the Lakers camp, with LeBron even going on air to call out his teammates about how they have been functioning on court.
LeBron has pointed out how some players are afraid to take shots during important moments of the game.
“When you’ve never been there or know what it takes to shoot for something like that, sometimes you’re afraid to get uncomfortable,” LeBron James said.
“You’ve got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
“I’m not saying that’s what we are as a whole, kind of looks like that at times that sometimes we’re afraid to being uncomfortable.
“Kind of get out of our comfort zone, have that sense of urgency from the jump and not be afraid to go out and fail to succeed.” he added.
Bringing 'Melo into team that may not have meaningful games left makes little sense for the organization or him. Lakers had waited to see who could be available for them in buyout market. For now, makes more sense for Lakers to use minutes on young players than a 34-year-old FA. https://t.co/R0rl1sqHwQ
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 4, 2019
— Randolf Garrido (@rgarrido24) March 5, 2019
He also spoke about how the Lakers is not the place for players who are a little ‘distracted’ during this time of the year.
“At this point if you are still allowing distractions to affect how the way you play, then this is the wrong franchise to be a part of and you should just come and be like, ‘Listen, I don’t [think this is for me]. I cannot do this,'” LeBron explained.
Now, with all the tension surrounding the Lakers already, LeBron James had been criticised for calling out his teammates in a public statement.
But, he has found support in Shaquille O’Neal, who has defended LeBron James by confirming that that is exactly what LeBron is supposed to do when the team is not stepping up.
Shaquille O’Neal said this in a podcast, confirming that he had LeBron’s back with respect to this, because he himself would have done the same.
He explained that this was LeBron’s way of motivating his teammates, because if they were unhappy with his statement, they would go out and play harder.
In this week’s show @SHAQ has @KingJames back for calling out his teammates, because he used to do it all the time. From this week’s #Shaqcast 👇👇👇 (Full show here: https://t.co/sl1IkIoKJf) pic.twitter.com/559KBQJmvE
— Shaqcast (@Shaqcast) March 4, 2019
Now, whatever the way to do it, LeBron would be hoping that he can motivate this team to pull their socks up and get some momentum going in this playoff berth surge.
Kyle Kuzma has called out how the trust has been missing in the system for sometime now.
Kyle Kuzma On Lakers’ Struggles: “There’s Something Wrong With This Team” pic.twitter.com/fw28MnamCQ
— Major Sports Alerts (@sports___alerts) March 4, 2019
I asked Kyle Kuzma if there’s a trust problem on the team. “Obviously, just because we’re losing to teams we shouldn’t lose to,” he said. “We lost to every bad team in the league.”
I asked Josh Hart if the team believes in each other 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/BgckVExnfV
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 3, 2019
“I am honestly not even sure. Obviously there’s something wrong with this team. It’s up to us to fix it.” Kuzma said.
He too would be hoping that a wining streak in the next few games would help iron out all problems that exist in this Lakers machine.
The Lakers have a tough fixture list going into the end of the season, but as we have seen in the first half of the regular season, the Lakers know how to win games against good teams, especially when they have their entire roster to chose from.
Lonzo Ball is nursing an injury currently and his return would provide a boost to the team. It will be interesting to see how the next few games pan out for the men in purple and gold.