The last time LeBron James faced the Phoenix Suns, his Los Angeles Lakers lived a nightmare. The purple and gold have struggled against Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton since last season.
First, they were eliminated in the 2021 playoff by the Suns in six games. On Friday night, Phoenix picked things right where they left them, dominating the Californians in a match where LeBron seemingly quit on his teammates.
During the 3rd quarter, the Suns had an 87-55 advantage. That's when Cam Johnson took off, trying to score in a fastbreak. LeBron caught up to him and prevented him from getting the bucket. After that, Rajon Rondo got the rebound and went to the other end, but James never showed up with the rest of his teammates.
It wasn't until after Anthony Davis was fouled that The King went to the other side of the court. After stopping Johnson, LeBron barked at the Phoenix Suns bench but never returned to the offense, starring in a peculiar moment.
It's not crazy that he engages in a back and forth with the Suns' bench, especially since Jae Crowder was there, but not returning to the offense was very strange.
Curiously, LeBron had two similar actions during last season's first-round series. In back-to-back games, the 4x NBA champion looked disappointed, demoralized and uninterested in continuing the game, which raised several eyebrows around the league.
This only gives people more reasons to call LeBron a 'quitter,' something that he isn't. Then again, playing against the same rival and seeing his teammates fail to do the job must be draining for him.
The Lakers are now 0-2 after losing the season opener against the Golden State Warriors. They need to find their touch this season if they aspire to lift the Larry O'Brien trophy again. The picture doesn't look promising for Frank Vogel's team, but they're still confident things can get better.