A dejected LeBron James spoke to the media on Saturday night following the Los Angeles Lakers’ most recent embarrassing defeat.
Coming into this year, L.A. hoped that enough depth was accumulated in the offseason to ensure that the team would be able to build on its impressive 2023 NBA Playoff performance.
Unfortunately, instead of looking like the squad that made the Western Conference Finals last year, the Lakers look like the one that stumbled and fumbled its way through the 2022-23 regular season.
As things presently stand, James’ squad is 3-3 and fresh off a humiliating loss to the Orlando Magic.
After the game, a dejected James got brutally honest about the Lakers’ struggles.
“We got to try to figure it out, because it’s definitely been a trend,” James said about his squad’s slow start to the year. “Offensive rebounds and points off turnovers.”
Orlando grabbing 51 rebounds to Los Angeles’ 40 certainly didn’t help the latter side, but it wasn’t the only issue. As James would later allude to in his session with reporters, the Lakers’ defense was atrocious on Saturday night as well.
“Our defense looked terrible,” he admitted.
The numbers certainly back that assertion up. Franz Wagner dropped 26 points on the Lakers’ heads, and Paulo Banchero chipped in 25 points as well.
The only person who legitimately had an excuse to play poorly against Orlando this weekend was James, what with his son getting so publicly called out for DMing a social media star’s girlfriend.
Instead, it felt like James was the only one who actually showed up to play. He was the lone Lakers star with a positive +/-.
This is shaping up to be an important next few weeks for L.A.
NBA Cheerleader Talks Getting Run Through By Nets Starting 5 (Video): https://t.co/MmatQchUdy
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With all the new pieces the team added over the summer, there was an expectation that the front office wouldn’t need to make any more big moves going forward.
A 3-3 mark after six games suggests something very different, though.
Will James’ brutally honest assessment of the Lakers’ early troubles spur some sort of change? An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.