The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Dallas Mavericks 109-104 on Tuesday night. It marked the team’s third straight loss out of the All-Star Break, and their 15th defeat in the last 21 games.
LeBron James scored 26 points in the losing effort, but once again, it proved not to be enough.
After the game James spoke to the media and struck a somewhat defiant tone. He also issued a warning to the rest of the NBA.
Don’t count us out.
“We still have games to play,” James said. “Until you stomp me out, cut my head off, bury me 12 feet under, I’ve got a chance. So that’s my confidence. We’ve got to come here and win ballgames and play better, but as long as we’ve got ballgames to play, we’ve got a chance.”
While James’ spirit in the postgame press conference was admirable, his effort at certain points throughout the night was not. This video largely speaks for itself:
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 2, 2022
James also addressed his increasingly contentious relationship with Lakers fans who heckle and boo him.
“If you’ve followed my career, I will get into it with a fan. So that was nothing out of ordinary for me,” he said. “No matter if it’s a home crowd or someone on the opposing side. If you’re cheering or booing, that’s fine, but this guy was literally trying to tell me how to play basketball…That was all that was. You can’t tell me how to play basketball. Not him. Not that guy.”
James’ run-in with Courtside Karen (and what she ended up doing after) obviously supports that point.
That said, James still pledged loyalty to Lakers fans.
“Listen, I ride or die with the Laker faithful. So they boo, I’m with ’em; they scream, I’m with ’em,” James added. “I’m 20 years into this league, I don’t care about a boo here, a boo there, a cheer. Whatever they want to do, let’s do it. We’re all together.”
The Lakers are down bad right now. They can’t stop losing. Jeanie Buss just had to put James in his place. There’s endless infighting.
And worst of all – there’s no sign of the rough times easing up.
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 2, 2022
Can the Lakers still turn things around? Maybe.
Will they? Probably not.
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