Despite the Los Angeles Lakers being healthy, they’re having a hard time winning games. It’s starting to look like a real possibility that the team could fall out of the top-six seeds. If that were to happen, the Lakers will have to compete in a play-in tournament. This year, the 7-10 seeds will have to win their playoffs spots.
Now that it’s possible Los Angeles could have to participate, LeBron James came out and ripped the NBA.
“It don’t matter where we land. That’s my mindset. If it happens to be sixth, or fifth, or whatever the case may be. Or if we end up in that playoff, whatever that thing is. Whoever came up with that s**t needs to be fired,” LeBron said Sunday.
The play-in tournament might not necessarily be fair considering the gap between a seventh and 10th seed could be pretty large. However, LeBron can’t fault the NBA for trying to shake things up and make them more interesting.
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Daryl Morey Throws Shade at LeBron
It’s clear that LeBron isn’t a fan of the play-in tournament but that’s not a sentiment shared by everybody around the NBA. Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey is a fan of the idea. He even decided to take what appears to be a shot at LeBron for the comments he made.
Morey and LeBron have a bit of a history. The Lakers star even accused Morey of not being “educated” when it came to his comments on Hong Kong back in 2019. It’s safe to say that LeBron won’t be joining a team that employs Morey anytime soon.
LeBron Was Previously in Favor of a Play-in Tournament
Reviews for LeBron’s comments on the play-in tournament weren’t very well received. Many perceived it as him whining or being a poor sport. The tournament is supposed to a fun, new event for the NBA. In fact, LeBron was into the idea before.
“So, we got Portland, we got Memphis, you got New Orleans that’s kind of [tinkering] and Sacramento tinkering around there,” LeBron said back in March 2020. “If there’s five or ten games left, why not [let] those guys battle it out? How bout just make them play each other all five games or all ten games? If [you’re] going to make the playoffs, why not play against the team in front of you or behind you to see who makes it?”
Obviously, what LeBron’s proposing isn’t exactly what the NBA ended up doing. That said, it’s not too far off. Based on his previous comments, it sounds like LeBron has only soured on the idea of a tournament because his team might have to participate. Had it not been for injuries, the Lakers wouldn’t be in any danger of having to play. If they can get out of their current slump, they should be able to avoid the tournament.