You know, I never wanted to address this because it’s painfully obvious at this point. But LeBron making his move to Hollywood didn’t have anything to do with basketball. Then he lied for no reason. He honestly could have just said “I want the opportunity to play for a historical franchise like the Lakers.” and that would have been ok. But he really could have kept all that “I want to help the young guys develop” and “This is going to be a long process” stuff to himself. He didn’t mean it and we didn’t believe it. But I guess he couldn’t come out and say “I’m tryna get my Steven Spielberg on” either so here we are.
First and foremost, LeBron wasn’t interested in partaking in any type of process from a basketball perspective. Spare me if you disagree because my man’s been eating instant grits for years now. Even now he’s sending “Hey big head” texts to a dude who is focusing on closing out his series for an opportunity to play in the NBA Finals. He was never interested in leading those young guys. He saw them as expendable commodities to get what he wanted. I’m sure he never expected the rest of the league to treat him like Cuba. No trading or exchanging goods or services whatsoever. The trade deadline fiasco was as detrimental to the Lakers season as their laundry list of injuries. It’s really hard to corral the players and convince them that you’re in this together after you just tried to trade them all. But again, this should have not been surprising. LeBron’s recipe for success has been a mix of veteran role players, spot up shooters and a star player or two. We’ve never seen him run with a group of young pups and turn them into big dogs.
Also I know we’re not going to act like Mr. James hasn’t been making his presence felt in Tinseltown before he started playing there. Might as well move closer to your job. His off-court endeavors appear to be taking precedence over basketball. He’s producing rap albums, making TV shows and casting movies (heard he’s having a bit of a hard time with this one) during the season. Doing all these extra curricular activities then turning around and asking your teammates “Is basketball the most important thing in your life right now?” is contradictory at the very least. He tricked the Lakers. He gave them the impression that he was going there in the interest of basketball when in reality, he was working on his retirement plan. And even after everything that’s happened this season, he’s not being held responsible for any of the dysfunction. Must be nice.
But really, they brought this on themselves. Everyone knows what happens when LBJ comes to town. If you’re willing to barter your future in exchange for a few years of losing in the Finals then so be it. It was also an unnecessary move. I don’t care if the Lakers go 0-82, they will always sell out every game and they will always be one of the most profitable franchises in sports. They did not need LeBron for anything and quite frankly, they are worse off for having him there. The likelihood of them signing another big name free agent while he is there is slim. Worst of all, they interrupted the development of their young, talented core. All this trouble for a dude who activates playoff mode, wins 3 of 14 games then shuts it down for the season?
LeBron really should just take this one on the chin, hold a press conference and say, “Sorry guys, I misled and deceived you. Sorry you had to abandon any and all plans you had for your franchise to accommodate me.” But he’s content with letting this circus play out. He’s reduced Magic Johnson to slinging mud on cable television and has the team hiring a coach and his successor at the same time. Just tell the people you want to focus on other things bro. I promise it’s ok. Stop driving in two lanes. Seems a little selfish if you ask me but hey, what do I know.