Are LeBron James’ ‘Winner’ Comments Hinting at Lakers Breakup?

The Los Angles Lakers’ story of the season seems to be the same after every game: LeBron James is pushing hard with plenty of assists and rebounds, but it’s nowhere near enough to help his team win.

It happened again Wednesday night when James had 27 points with nine rebounds and six assists in a 112-98 loss to the Miami Heat. While James, who turns 38 on Friday, said he wasn’t sure how long he would play, the one thing that is clear is that he doesn’t like to lose. That would explain some of his remarks after the Lakers fell to 14-21 this season.

“I’m a winner and I want to win,” James said after the game. “And I want to win and give myself a chance to win and continue to compete for championships. That’s always been my passion. That’s always been my goal since I came into the league at the age of 18 at Akron, Ohio.

“And I know it takes steps to get there, but once you’re there and you know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to play basketball is not in my DNA. It’s not in my DNA. It’s more in my DNA. So let’s see what happens and see how fresh my mind stays over the next two years.”

The Lakers are 3.5 games out of the final qualifying spot, as James & Co. risk missing the playoffs for a second straight season.

Shannon Sharpe liked James’ message after the Lakers’ latest loss, believing it was a message to general manager Rob Pelinka that he needed to fix things to maximize James’ performance this season.

“He said, ‘Look at the level I’m playing at, and it’s all for nothing,'” Sharpe said on ‘Undisputed’ Thursday. “I’m going to average 27, 28 points per game, eight rebounds and seven assists and guess what? I’m going to be back home. I’m probably going to miss the playoffs for the third time in five seasons since I started. arrived in LA.’

“That’s not what it’s about. He says once you get to a certain level, and the big guys get to that level, it’s just not good enough to play well. It’s almost like they’re playing meaningless basketball. ‘OK, I did that, but what’s the point? I played that way, I invest what I invest, I’m far from my family both mentally and physically – and what’s the point? Why am I doing this?'”

Skip Bayless, however, believes James is currently reaping what he sowed. He mentioned how he thinks James pressured the Lakers front office to trade for Anthony Davis. While Bayless thinks it was a good trade for them, it also left them paralyzed for the future as they gave up three young players, three first-round picks and multiple pick trades. Meanwhile, AD is out indefinitely after suffering another injury.

“It’s beneath LeBron,” Bayless said. “I don’t want to hear it now. I don’t think his teammates want to hear it now. He’s better than that. I get it, he wants to win and he’s ashamed to be in the middle of it. But, the fact is it has a lot to do with being in the middle of this because the bigger picture is, even if the ‘GOAT’ needs a scapegoat, and it feels like he shift the blame onto Rob Pelinka.”

Bayless added that if James cared more about winning like he said he could have found a better way to make it work.

“The thing is, they paid the freight,” Bayless said. “It was $44 million and $47 million. Then LeBron wanted maximum dollars, so they gave him maximum dollars. I tell you again and again, there’s another way to do it. If you want to give Rob Pelinka a bit more flexibility, you could go the way of Tim Duncan because in those last three years at San Antonio he’s taken near minimum wages so they can max out their bench.”

On the bright side, James is poised to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history this season, and he’s likely to break his record for most consecutive All-Star starts, which is 18. But Sharpe thinks that’s not the case. That’s not good enough for James, as he thinks some people will remember him for not making the playoffs in multiple seasons with the Lakers.

That’s why Sharpe thinks it might be time for James to divorce the Lakers.

“Look at this man, he has an average of 28-8-6 and what does he want to do?” said Sharpe. “Last year he was 30-8-6 and he did what? So basically he was like, ‘Rob, what are you going to do about this?’ LeBron may have to take his show on the road, he may have to get on the road to get what he wants: which is to play at this level and to play meaningful basketball over time and in this series. playoffs.

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