ESPN's "First Take" host Molly Qerim recently dropped an interesting idea about LeBron James' mentality entering the 2021 NBA playoffs. The King and the Lakers will face the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament, hoping to take down Stephen Curry and co.
Given how messy the season has been for the Lakers, not everybody is convinced they will have what it takes to win back-to-back championships. Still, Qerim believes they could use all these calamities in their favor.
For instance, she talked about LeBron's comments on his fitness and the things he said about Stephen Curry's MVP case. The host said that this could be a strategy for Bron to make people believe the Lakers aren't that strong before taking the league by storm (4:11).
"We have LeBron come up with the comments, and he said, 'I'm not 100%, I'll never know if I'll be 100% again and now he says Steph is the MVP. I think he's just setting up the narrative like, 'hey, when we beat Steph and the Warriors, and we take them out real quick, I beat the MVP. Or when I win this 'ship, I wasn't 100%', and he's just setting us up here and that's kind of the direction of where he's going."
If true, this would be a very interesting strategy. We've seen people like Jay Williams criticizing Bron for saying he would never return to his best form. Seeing how well James played after he returned to action, Molly's comments could be more credible.
The 4x NBA champion has a very good team and the Lakers will be considered a threat to the rest of the West as long as they have their star duo. Fox Sports' Jason McIntyre claimed that going against them this season was just odd.
The Lakers will have to overcome an inspired Curry that is torching teams on a nightly basis. They need LeBron at his best to beat the Dubs and make a deep playoffs run this campaign.