Nothing Laker Nation had in mind for this upcoming season has come to fruition. When LeBron James signed on the dotted line almost 8 long months ago, it came with an expectation that the team would be competing for Championships again. Even despite their failure to acquire another star over the summer, few doubted that the Lakers would make the playoffs. After all, we had seen LeBron overcome greater odds before.

Unfortunately, as things currently stand, those doubters couldn’t be more right. The team stinks. Be it by lousy on-court chemistry, a failure to adopt a winning mentality, or locker-room troubles after the Anthony Davis trade fiasco, this team is not equipped to even make the playoffs, much less make it a competitive series against whoever they would pair up against.

Crazy thing is, the guy that gave them that hope all those months ago is the same guy who’s the source of their biggest problem today. At least, according to ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, who said on his morning show “First Take” that the L.A. superstar has just not been himself since returning from a groin injury earlier in the month.

“The biggest problem for the Los Angeles Lakers is LeBron James. Keep that camera on me I got a lot of stuff on my mind I gotta get off my chest. From this day forward, we’re going to stop calling him the best player in the world. We’re going to stop that right now.”

He cites that even beyond what seems to be a physically limited LeBron, his public comments about the team have not been beneficial to an L.A. squad losing hope on their season.

Until LeBron returns to his peak physical form (whenever that might be, if at all), it’s time to give the crown to someone else — most notably Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is leading his Bucks to the best record in the NBA.

Either way, it’s clear that something is up with The King. Whether it’s father time, a nagging injury, or just a discouraged spirit, he’ll have to solve it soon — or risk missing out on the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

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