The LeBron James-Los Angeles Lakers saga is anything but done now, one day before the 2021/22 NBA season resumes, with the Purple and Gold trying to turn things around and become a legit title contender.
Ever since the trade deadline struck and they didn't make a move, plenty of people were shocked about the Lakers not making a trade and staying with their current roster. This started a back and forth between the front office and those close to their best players.
During the past All-Star Weekend, LeBron James sent a couple of messages to the management, praising executives from other teams, and even other sports, making passive-aggressive comments about his team's current moment. Now, Bill Oram of The Athletic reports that Bron's relationship with the Lakers is very tense, and everything could blow up in the next couple of days.
This has to all come as a shock to the Lakers and especially their vice president of basketball operations, Rob Pelinka, who has repeatedly yielded to James and the appropriately-named Klutch Sports Group that represents him.
Because James and agent Rich Paul long grabbed hold of the Lakers organization and are now beginning to really squeeze.
The situation is tense enough that one source close to the Lakers likened it to the early days of a war.
But for as important as Bryant was to the Lakers, sources inside the organization have long said that not even the legendary Black Mamba wielded as much power within the organization as James now has.
Bryant was never able to strong-arm the Lakers to make a move like the one James helped orchestrate for Westbrook, which has proven to be an outright disaster.
This could be a problem for the team, as LeBron is trying to get the team going in his direction, while Rob Pelinka is doing the same. He didn't pull the trigger in any trade before the deadline, keeping Russell Westbrook on board, rejecting big offers for the former MVP.
LeBron is said to have big power within the organization, even more than Kobe Bryant ever had. It seems like we'll see a clash between these two forces and the team will be hurt if that happens.