Lebron James Props Up Listless Lakers

Cavaliers' legend LeBron James became the youngest player to reach 30,000 career points.

Less than two years after Lebron James was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl was heard saying: “It’s weird talking about a 20-year-old kid being a great player. But he is a great player and an exception to almost every rule.”

19 NBA seasons in, James, now 37, continues to be a great and exceptional player – very much as if Father Time has stood still for him.  

In the current season of the NBA, James averages 29.0 points per game, just a shade behind league leader Kevin Durant, 29.3.  He continues to be an energetic playmaker and an amiable team player with a strong hard-court presence.  Even as the Lakers desperately struggle to find the form to win more games this season, James carries most of the load of the Lakers’ fight to preserve an enviable reputation built around 17 NBA titles, including one he helped secure in the 2019-2020 season.  

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LeBron James, Joel Embiid, and now Giannis Antetokounmpo each have active 17+ game streaks with at least 25 points.

Last season, the Lakers barely made it to the playoffs, and when they did, they were unceremoniously shown the door by Phoenix Suns in the first round with a 2-4 shellacking in six games. The humiliation happened as if the ever prodigious James wasn’t in a Lakers’ uniform and was not producing record points from all angles.

The current season does not seem to be any better for the Lakers, despite James’ monstrous scoring contribution and selfless commitment to the team. A Vietnamese Sportsbook Vwin99 released an article on the Lakers’ disappointing season thus far, despite the success and talent of LeBron.

Halfway through the season, the Lakers are precariously at the 0.500 mark, with key players like Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook unable to consistently show up due to health issues and protocols.  The team’s chances of making it to the Western Conference Play-In and advancing to the playoff series are still vague.     

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Despite the challenges, James is not one to blame his teammates or anyone else. Lebron attributes his team’s present predicament to too many unknowns. This is a year where you can’t be sure if a guy who played tonight can play the next night, he explains nonchalantly. 

Until now, more than halfway through the regular NBA season, he said his team is trying to figure out the best way to win and who should play on the floor.  If we figure that out, he said, then we could get better, better, and better.

His teammates appreciate his harmless candor.  Dwight Howard followed up James’ rhetoric with his own brand of rah-rah.  “We’re going to get out of this part of the season,” he rapped.  “When we do, we’re going to look back and say that is something that we needed.”

The one thing they need is needed now – no ifs, buts, and laters.  The Lakers’ stubborn optimism is anchored on James and his unblemished track record.  But basketball is a team sport, where five players from each team are expected to play specific roles.  

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Howard, Davis, Westbrook, Anthony and the rest of the Lakers also need to step up and win games – now, not later when it’s probably too late to save the day. 

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