LeBron James Has Made Decision on Shutting It Down for Season: Report

LeBron James

Getty Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers just can’t figure out how to turn things around this season. The All-Star break didn’t help. The team has lost four in a row to drop to 27-35 on the season. LeBron James was the team’s leading scorer in each game but does not seem to be getting much support.

With 20 games left on the regular-season schedule and the Lakers’ championship hopes dimming, would James, who is 37 years old, consider shutting down for the season?

That’s not going to happen, according to a March 2 story by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“James, who has missed 17 games this season because of various injuries and most recently sat out five games from late January through early February with swelling in his left knee, has no plans to shut his season down at any point, sources close to James told ESPN,” McMenamin wrote. “James is committed to play out the season, wherever it goes.”

As the Lakers continue to lose, the team could miss the playoffs altogether. They hold the ninth seed in Western Conference, but the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers are closing in. As of March 4, the Pelicans, winners of three in a row, were just one game back and the Blazers were two games behind the Lakers. If Los Angeles drops to 11th place in the conference, they won’t even get a chance to earn a playoff spot via the four-team play-in tournament.

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Should LeBron Shut Down?

There is precedence for James shutting down before the end of the regular season. On March 30, 2019, he shut down with about two weeks left in season and the Lakers out of the running for a playoff spot.

He used the extra time off to focus on his health, and the Lakers came back to with the NBA championship in 2019-2020.

At this point, there doesn’t appear to be a way for the Lakers to repair their season. On February 25, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Anthony Davis’ mid-foot injury would take another four to five weeks to heal. If that’s the case, he would likely miss the rest of the season. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Russell Westbrook is playing the worst basketball of his career, averaging 18.1 points and 7.7 total rebounds per game. The scoring average is his worst since 2009-10, his second year in the league, and the rebound average is his lowest since 2014-15.

Is This Season Salvageable?

The Lakers can’t expect LeBron to play much better. He’s averaging 28.9 points a game, which is third-best in the NBA. He’s playing at an MVP level every game but can’t single-handily win games as he could in the past. The key to the Lakers saving the season is Westbrook.

He’s only averaging 18.1 points a game and playing some horrific basketball lately. He’s been getting booed at home games and is sometimes benched in the fourth quarter of close games. If the Lakers have any hope of turning things around, they need him to start playing like the former MVP he is. There’s no way for the team to change the fact that he’s just a bad fit but that doesn’t mean he needs to play this poorly.

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Freddy Jacks
Freddy Jacks
11 months ago

If I’m guessing correctly, once the Lakers have been eliminated from the playoffs, he’ll shut it down. Unless he’s trying to break a record or something.

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