After coming into the season with championship aspirations, the Los Angeles Lakers crumbled underneath the weight of an aging roster, overwhelming expectations and poor chemistry.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that this group will likely miss the playoffs altogether this year.
One of the casualties of the Lakers’ struggles has been the reputation of team star, LeBron James. He has acted out and waged such a low-key war against the front office in recent days that Lakers owner Jeanie Buss had to sit him down and put him in his place.
Interestingly enough, there was one person who apparently saw James’ failures with the Lakers coming: Kobe Bryant.
According to Doug Gottlieb, Bryant foresaw that James wasn’t built for LA in the way he was.
“LeBron was coming to town,” Gottlieb said. “It was already done, and he (Kobe Bryant) said to me unequivocally, ‘LeBron does not get to know or understand LA and he’s not built for it the way I’m built for it.
“‘I took negativity, and it fueled me. And when there was negativity with me and Shaq, it fueled me. It’s like that’s not what fuels LeBron. He’s just built different. He’s not the savage competitor that me and Mike are.
“‘Like I want to kill. I’m the type of killer that wants to kill you and your whole family. LeBron just wants to be loved. Wants to play ball, wants to win games. But he is not the killer that me and Mike are.’”
Several years into the experiment, it would appear that Bryant was right. (And it’s not the first time his prophetic statements have turned out to be correct.) Sure, the Lakers won an NBA Bubble championship with James, but that year served as an anomaly of his Los Angeles run.
Someone needs to take Jeanie Buss’ phone away. Yikes. https://t.co/dXtkFRGHUC
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 3, 2022
To date, there have been far more bad moments with James in purple and gold than good.
Obviously there’s still plenty of time for that to change. But based on how things have gone up to this point, there is no reason to assume that they will.