As just about everyone knows by this point, the Lakers are not very good this season. Essentially eliminated from playoff contention and dealing with a plethora of injuries, LeBron has been placed on the first true “minute-restriction” of his career. With that, many Kobe & MJ stans went after LeBron for “quitting on his team” by accepting something that clearly is beneficial for his health and the future of the Lakers.
The main argument coming from these delusional fans is that this proves that LeBron doesn’t have the “killer instinct” or “Mamba Mentality” that the other two posses. This argument is absolutely ludicrous, as the Lakers have no shot at a playoff berth, and are a surefire 1st round exit even if they could somehow make the field of 16. It was announced just a few days ago that Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball will both be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
It has been long speculated that Ball would not return in the regular season due to an ankle sprain he received on 1/19 against Houston. This injury has been surprisingly devastating, as Ball is the best defender on this Lakers roster. Ingram however is rather shocking as it came out of nowhere. One minute he is out of the lineup with shoulder soreness in a crucial game vs LAC, and the next he is done for the year with a blood clot in his arm.
Obviously, this is a very serious issue, and health must be the #1 priority for players. With that being said, I’m about to bring up the impact that this will likely have on the team as a whole. Know that I am very concerned about BI, and wish him a speedy, and more importantly, full recovery. Ingram was at the center of trade talks with New Orleans, and has only improved his play post-deadline. An injury like this will not only hurt the Lakers’ chance of winning games to close out the ’18-’19 season, but could seriously affect his trade value. With Chris Bosh’s career ending due to a blood clot, this could be a huge risk to any potential trade partners.
Getting back to what happened on Saturday, James showed that he can leave an immense impact on a game, even in just 27 minutes. 30-12-10 is just another day for LeBron, but to have that kind of efficiency while on a minute restriction is remarkable. At this rate, he needs to make sure not to mess around and win a game during the final 16 game stretch as LA is looking to improve their pick in the upcoming draft.
The real highlight of the night was what ensued AFTER the 48 minutes had passed. LeBron and Kyrie Irving shared a few words in a brief exchange during the post game festivities. One can only hope that these words were something along the lines of Kyrie committing to helping LeBron win a title in LA by signing a long-term deal with the Lakers next season. I’m sure that that’s EXACTLY how it went, so we really have no reason to panic. Help is on the way Laker Nation!
In all seriousness, this year has been a clear failure and even the blindest of supporters can see that. Next year however, will be different, with or without Anthony Davis. At least one star free-agent will endup in LA, and put them right back in title contention. For now, we let the uninjured young players prove themselves and work toward a high draft pick.