Will LeBron and the Lakers make the playoffs?



LeBron James taking a deep breath before a free throw.

Josh Purnell, Courier Staff

LeBron James, who is arguably the best player in the league, might get the title taken away if he does not make the playoffs this year. In his first year with the Lakers, the Lakers are 10th in the Western Conference with a 30-34 record. The last time James missed the playoffs was his second year in the league.

On July 1, 2018, James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Additional veteran players were signed as well, players like: Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Javale McGee, Michael Beasley, Jonathan Williams and Tyson Chandler. The problem with all the other players signing is that none of the players are shooters. In today’s NBA, in order to be successful in this league, you have to have players that know how to shoot. There is only one team in the NBA that have players on their team in all five positions that can shoot ,and that is the Golden State Warriors. Since the beginning of the season, everyone knew that these Lakers could not compete with the Warriors, although the Lakers did beat the Warriors on Christmas Day, 127-101. For the first time in James’ career, he is having a midlife crisis.

The Lakers’ production on the court is awful. They play no defense, no one can shoot free throws and there is no leadership on the court. Everyone is questioning head coach Luke Walton. Walton deserves to be in question because he hasn’t shown his ability to change the game plan, what he can provide as a coach and how he’ll control his players. The person that should be in question as well is James.

On Sep. 23, 2018, New Orleans Pelicans star player Anthony Davis signed with Klutch Sport under agent Rich Paul. Paul is also James’ agent. There were speculations that James and Davis could be on the same team someday. Rightfully so, it was bound to happen. Paul informed to the New Orleans Pelicans that Davis wanted out. Davis did not want to resign with the Pelicans. The Los Angeles Lakers were willing to trade their young players, multiple draft picks and Pelicans salary cap for Davis. That is a lot to give away for one player. The trade ended up not happening and the trade deadline was over.

Now that the trade deadline is over, it was obvious even on the court that the players didn’t want to play with James. Everyone knew James had something to do with the Davis trade. James’ entire career has been single handedly one where he picked who he wanted on his team. He did it in Cleveland and Miami. The fact that the organization was willing to give away pretty much everything for Davis, shows that the young players they have on their team now aren’t worthy enough, good enough or talented enough. That is slap in the face to the young players and that trade changed the team’s chemistry.

Since the trade deadline ended on Feb. 7, 2019, the Lakers record are 2-7. The Lakers as an organization are doing bad, and it would be a surprise to see them in the playoffs.