The Los Angeles Lakers will not make the 2019 NBA Playoffs.
What changed their course?
“I think the injury 1000 percent,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“The Anthony Davis stuff came later, but the injury, it was the most serious injury of LeBron’s career, so that’s the start there, and for him not to be on the court, he’s not able to influence anything.”
Yeah, there were other distractions within the Lakers organization too: Lonzo Ball isn’t wearing Big Baller Brand sneakers anymore. Other notables like Carmelo Anthony and Zach Randolph never filled a roster spot in LA and Anthony Davis was never traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
But LeBron’s injury was a HUGE DEAL!
“I mean, behind the scenes, you can have conversations with people,” Shelburne said of LeBron James.
“You can try to talk to them or keep them headed in the right direction, but if you’re not on the court to reinforce that, if you’re not on the court to perform and do what he does as LeBron James, it really changes things, and he didn’t miss a little time, he missed a quarter of the season. That was a long time and especially when the Anthony Davis stuff is going on and things are flying around if there are trust issues and people are looking to see ‘if you want to get me out’, if he was out on the court with them and that’s where you connect as men, as teammates, whatever, that would have really changed things, but if he’s not on the court with them to reinforce those things, it really hurts the team chemistry there because he’s not out there. and not the chemistry, the performance, because he’s LeBron James. He’s good, like, they needed him, they don’t have the depth of talent on the team, so when you don’t have LeBron out there, there is no way, shape, or form you’re ever going to be a better team.”
The Los Angeles Lakers are sitting in 11th place in the NBA’s Western Conference and won’t be making the NBA Playoffs.
They’ll enter this summer looking to make a splash in NBA Free Agency this summer.
The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where several NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan are expected to become unrestricted free agents.