For LeBron James Lakers, there’s no Hollywood end in sight for this horror show


There are two problems now for Los Angeles Lakers. The first is how they are currently playing. The second is what comes next.

The present is the most obvious and ugliest manifestation of what is wrong with Lakerland. This team, as LeBron James pointed out, is not “built on a great shot.”

This is really diplomatic. But LeBron’s words provide a complete and accurate indictment of the Lakers’ roster and chances this season.

This team 0-3. They have a stagnant and embarrassing offense, and players are more likely to mock LeBron’s supposed championship aspirations than help.

Take Anthony Davis. Despite his talent, he remains an unreliable star when it comes to his health and a question mark, even when available, as a solution to a talent-deprived team. This is a list of three to 15 that are among the worst in the NBA. And that’s before counting the special trash fire that Russell Westbrook represents as a Laker.

It was simply awful, Albatross around the team Already burdened with the expectations that always accompany LeBron but lacking enough talent to rise to them from a distance.

It’s bad, and things are very likely to get worse.

It’s the future – though it seems far from Los Angeles through the haze of fatigue, angst, dread, pessimism and cynicism unfolding this season – that’s probably the most unsettling.

It’s supposed to be bad Mail-LeBron, not while he’s still on your list.

This has always been the trade-off: compete and win now, fatigue and rebuild later. And later, like winter, is coming. LeBron will turn 38 years old on December 30th. His new two-year contract expires in the summer of 2024, and despite his insanely high level of play, there’s no guarantee he’ll see this Lakers team as the right medium for his career years. .

During LeBron’s first assignment with Cleveland Cavaliers, they fought the playoffs five consecutive seasons, including an unsuccessful appearance in the 2007 Finals. After leaving, Cleveland went 97-215. Thirty-three wins were the high water mark. The Post-LeBron Principle—in which your youth, your assets, your draft choices, and your culture were sacrificed for the sake of the here and now, began.

The same pattern followed in Miami: four years of greatness – two back-to-back NBA Finals appearances and two rings – was the fee for a post-LeBron future that included redeeming an organization that had only suffered one season of defeat in over a decade under Pat Riley.

Until now the heatwhen LeBron returned to Cleveland, he went 37-45 in the first season without him, and experienced ups and downs before finding his footing several years later.

Same for Cleveland — appearing in the Finals, a long-awaited championship and then three terrible seasons of basketball before General Manager Kobe Altman starts to craft properly and turn things around.

This has always been the agreement. Having a King James always comes with a price to pay, but it’s quite new to have the price paid while it’s still around.

More often than not, LeBron’s exit will anticipate the expectations of others. In Cleveland, head coach Mike Brown and general manager Danny Ferry moved on after LeBron. In Miami, Dwyane Wade was bidding farewell to LeBron and then, finally and embarrassingly, to the Heat team he had played for his entire career. The second time Cleveland saw LeBron out, a familiar pattern followed. Its head coach Tai Lu and general manager David Griffin have also left.

Get LeBron. Win, win and win. Watch him leave. Inspect, Recalibrate, Rebuild. This was the pattern. Until now.

The Lakers are not a very good basketball team, and even with a solution to Westbrook’s mess – emptying it via trade or acquisition – it is unlikely that this team will be talented enough to do much in the way of winning this year. It is possible that he will overtake LeBron Karim as the all-time leading scorer, but it is unlikely that this date will match the success of a similar team.

It’s hard to see Anthony Davis as the #1 on a team at championship level. Most of the young talent the Lakers amassed was replaced before LeBron to get AD and Rob Pelinka, the general manager who eventually brought on Westbrook and built this current roster, doesn’t instill as much confidence as the architect of LeBron’s post-future.

Yes, this Lakers season got off to a bad start in a probably bad year. But this may be just the beginning. Winning with LeBron has, so far, been the norm. But losing without him is more of a guarantee.


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