In less than two years, the city of Los Angeles, California, has had three champions in the Lakers, Dodgers and most recently the Rams. While most cities would be lucky to see that much winning in a short amount of time, fans can’t be thrilled with the recent performance of the Lakers. The team got knocked out in the first round of last season’s playoffs and has gotten off to a bad start this season.
The Lakers are the ninth seed in the Western Conference with a 27-31 record despite having three superstars in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. While there are many great teams in Los Angeles, the Lakers are easily the biggest brand. When they aren’t playing great, it’s a big deal. During the recent NBA trade deadline, the team was linked to a number of possible trades to try and salvage the season.
A reason the Lakers weren’t able to pull off any deals was due to unwillingness to part with their 2027 first-round pick, which is the only one they have left until then. Rams general manager Les Snead is infamous for trading away as many draft picks as necessary to get proven players in an effort to win now. During the team’s Super Bowl parade, Snead was seen wearing a shirt with his face on it and words placed over it that said, “F*** them picks.”
LeBron took note of the shirt and referred to Snead as “my type of guy.”
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Was This Tweet a Shot at Rob Pelinka?
LeBron has been actively following the Rams this season and even attended the Super Bowl to watch them beat the Cincinnati Bengals. His tweet about Snead could just be showing that he respects the general manager’s willingness to wear an edgy shirt in public. However, many believe that LeBron’s tweet was more calculated.
As previously noted, the Lakers chose to not make a trade so that they didn’t mortgage their future for what looks like a lost season. LeBron isn’t concerned about the team’s future. He’s 37-years-old and can only play basketball for so long. He’s not worried about a draft pick the Lakers will use in five years. His public admiration for Snead made fans deduce that LeBron is taking a shot at Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka.
Is Pelinka on Borrowed Time?
Pelinka has to start feeling the heat. It’s not completely his fault that the Lakers roster is a disaster. LeBron and Davis wanted Westbrook on the team. However, Pelinka does deserve his fair share of criticism. Almost every move the team made in the offseason was the wrong one outside of stealing Malik Monk in free agency, who has been a nice player.
Pelinka greatly overvalued Talen Horton-Tucker, who has been a below-average role player instead of the emerging star the Lakers thought he’d be. Letting Alex Caruso walk in free agency was possibly the worst move he made as they’re desperate for a consistent defender who brings the energy every night. Pelinka got off to a good start with the Lakers and was a reason they won the championship in 2020. That said, the franchise is used to consistently competing for championships. If the Lakers continue to have a bad season, Pelinka could be on his way out in the offseason.