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LeBron James Rips Play-In Tournament One Year After He Supported The Idea: "One Thing You Can't Just Do Is Go Straight To The Playoffs"

Credit: USATSI

Credit: USATSI

LeBron James is anything but happy with the play-in tournament the NBA will hold this season after all the interest it drew last season. The No. 7 seed through the No. 10 in each conference will compete to see what teams are going to the playoffs and the Lakers are very close to being one of those squads. 

While that becomes a bigger possibility for them, LeBron James has shown his disagreement with the idea, even saying that whoever dropped that idea should be fired. Well, this is something that has been around for a while and players criticizing the format now won't have any impact on that (3:00). 

"It doesn't matter at the end of the day if I'm not 100 percent, close to 100 percent, it (doesn't) matter where we land. That's my mindset," LeBron told reporters after the Lakers lost to the Raptors, 121-114. "If it happens that we end up at sixth or fifth or whatever the case may be, or if we end up in the playoff, whatever that . . . thing is — whoever came up with that s— needs to be fired, but whatever."

Last year, Bron actually supported this idea, saying that the league couldn't go straight to the playoffs after the suspension so it would be good to have a play-in tournament to define what teams were going to the big party. Of course, it was a different situation but it's still curious that when the Lakers weren't involved in that situation, James was all-in on this tournament. 

"One thing you can't just do is go straight to the playoffs, because it discredits the 60-plus games that guys had fighting for that position," said James during the Road Trippin' Podcast, as transcribed by Yahoo Sports.

"You got Portland. You got Memphis...New Orleans and Sacramento tinkering around if there's five or ten games left...why not those guys battle it out? Make them play each other all five games?"

When one fan reminded people that Bron was cool with the play-in tournament last year, a big debate started, with some defending the Laker superstar saying he was talking about last season and others just blasting him for changing his mind now that the Lakers are in danger of playing extra games for a playoffs berth. 

James will always get criticized, even when he does the right things. He's just speaking his mind and let people know that seemed like a good idea last year when teams hadn't completed the season and it was unfair to say who was going to the playoffs without playing the majority of the calendar. 

Things have changed for the 2020 NBA champions now and it's understandable that he's frustrated but if he wants to skip the play-in tournament, the Lakers need to start winning as soon as possible. They have 8 games left this season and if they want to stop this drama, it's time to level up and show what they can do on the court.