LeBron James passed Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time triple-double list last night. He is now No.5 with 79 TDs. But that wasn’t his only milestone set during the previous night in Tennessee.
LBJ became the only player in the history of the league who reached top 10 on the all-time scoring and assist list. That is truly amazing.
But none of these achievements were in focus, as his Lakers lost to Memphis Grizzlies 110-105, who are without playoff chances for a long time. That is why they decided to enter the process of reconstruction.
Meanwhile, the purple and gold are supposed to chase the offseason, but at the moment they have huge problems on and off the court. Monday’s failure was the fourth in the latest five contests, seventh in ten previous.
And when looking at the opponents they’ve defeated, all this doesn’t have any sense. Lakers were better than Clippers, Celtics, and Rockets, and lost to Hawks, Pelican, and Grizzlies.
All that inconsistency and lack of motivation will cost them the playoffs this season, almost certainly. That is if they continue to play like this.
LeBron James is trying everything to improve the situation in the locker room, but it is definite now, that positive chemistry among the players is no longer present.
Harsh words of frustration burst out of him last night, which is something we haven’t seen all this year. James was a bit nervous because of several calls the officials made, for which he believed they weren’t right. You could see the tension on his face while explaining all those controversial decisions. LBJ was trying to control himself, but he did show signs of anger.
After answering a couple of questions about the game, his, and the overall Lakers’ performance, one of the reporters asked him are the playoff stories and the pressure surrounding the team a distraction for the players.
His answer was a bit brutal.
“At this point, if you’re still allowing distractions to affect the way you play, this is the wrong franchise to be a part of and you should just come in and be like, ‘Listen, I can’t do this,’ ” James said.
The next part of his answer was in the same manner, and according to reporters present, it seemed like LeBron’s frustration grew as each word came out of his mouth.
“Just come and do your job,” he continued. “We do our job at a high level. That’s not a distraction, that’s what you want.”
Over the last few weeks, a lot of rumors emerged about the bad atmosphere in the Lakers’ locker room. It allegedly appeared when the organization tried to trade most of the young core to New Orleans in return for Anthony Davis. Some of the youngsters didn’t take that very well, and their will and intensity for playing significantly dropped.
Last night that wasn’t the case, because Brandon Ingram scored 32, while Kyle Kuzma added 22 points, combining for only 8 missed shots in 33 attempts.
Here you go – the context of what LeBron said right before, what the question was, his answer: pic.twitter.com/x3WKgDVh2E
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 26, 2019
Some of the sources are saying that James’ target might even be coach Luke Walton. Several experts already stated that Walton’s inexperience and bad strategy are the primary cause for all the bad things Lakers encountered with since the season started.
Whether his remarks apply to someone particular or happened to be made while the head was still hot, this won’t improve the chemistry of the team.
There are 22 games until the end, and James doesn’t want to back down, insisting that his team has chances for the playoff, and that he wants to fight.
“Everyone’s so accustomed to the losses that I’m just not accustomed to,” James said. “I’m not accustomed to it. I would never get comfortable with losing.”
Five of the next six matches purple and gold play at the Staples Center. The first one is against the Pelicans, which would be interesting to see. Most of the fans are expecting to see what kind of reaction will Anthony Davis have when he steps on the floor. If he plays at all.
After that, NBA leaders, Milwaukee Bucks come to town.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.