In case you had any question about how poorly this season has been for the Lakers, just watch the body language during their games. They look lethargic on the court, no energy, no urgency — like they’ve already given up on a season that is slowly falling out of their reach.
After showing signs of life against some good teams, they go on and lose against teams like the Hawks and, most recently, a 12th seeded Pelicans team without Anthony Davis.
It was after their latest loss that LeBron James vented to the media, calling into question the mindset of some of his fellow Lakers.
“How many know what’s at stake if you’ve never been there? I’m playing devil’s advocate, you know? It’s kind of a fine line when you talk about that, because when you’ve never been there or know what it takes to actually shoot for something like that, sometimes you’re afraid to get uncomfortable.
“So you got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. So I’m not saying that’s what we are as a whole. It kind of looks that way at times, that sometimes we’re afraid to be uncomfortable and kind of get out of our comfort zone and kind of, you know, have that sense of urgency from the jump, and not be afraid to actually go out and fail to succeed. So I mean, we have, what — 23 games left? We’ll see what happens.”
He reiterated that this “losing mentality” is just not something he’ll ever be used to.
“The last few years, everyone’s so accustomed to the losses that I’m just not accustomed to,” James said. “I’m not accustomed to it. I will never get comfortable with losing. So losing Game 1 to Houston [at home], it feels the same way as losing Game 59 in New Orleans to me. It’s just how I’m built. That’s who I am.”
These comments seem to be directed mostly towards the Lakers’ young core, as their inexperience in winning situations may have them feeling comfortable in their current position.
Nonetheless, it seems LeBron has taken to calling them out publicly, almost separating himself from a toxic Lakers roster that has seen nothing but L’s for the past 5 years.
But he does have a point. If the Lakers want to make the playoffs, LeBron can’t be the only one out there showing some fight. They’ll need everything they’ve got — from everyone, every night– if they really want to have a chance at fighting for that trophy this June.