LA is a town that's used to winning, something that was demonstrated by the Rams last month when they brought a Super Bowl to the city. Success is expected, especially from their most storied franchise in the Lakers. So when the Lakers are bad, or worse, grossly underperforming despite having the players to do better, the fans are quick to let them know how they feel.
During a loss to New Orleans on Sunday night, the Crypto.com Arena sparked into life in the worst way possible, with the Lakers fans booing their team. LeBron James had a turnover that sparked some boos, while the unaffected Russell Westbrook was subjected to boos of his own from the Lakers faithful. But according to Stephen A. Smith, there's one part of that situation he didn't quite like.
"Should LeBron consider wanting out of the Lakers? Sure he should. I don't think he will, but he should. LeBron delivered a championship, and last time I checked, he's playing like an MVP candidate. The one person who should never be booed by the Los Angeles Lakers fans is LeBron James.
"No matter how bad it is, no matter how good it is. This man has been a model of consistency, professionalism and greatness for the Los Angeles Lakers. I think we all can look at LeBron's play on the court. If you wanted to get on him for the roster, that's a different matter. But looking at LeBron James' play on the court, can we seriously sit here and look at him and find fault with how he has played? I can't.
"I've watched him, all year long, and I'm not saying he's perfect every moment because of course he's not. But, you talk about a dude who's playing hard, is going all out and producing digits. 29, 6 and 7. I mean, that's what he's averaging, on 51.9% of shooting, on nearly 35% shooting from 3-point range, at age 37 in his 19th season, half the time without Anthony Davis.
"This is not the person the Los Angeles Lakers fanbase should be booing because he committed a turnover. Mind your manners and watch yourselves, because LeBron has not cheated you. Remember where you were before he arrived and what you accomplished within two years after his arrival."
LeBron James may have been incredible when it comes to his performance but his supposed influence on decisions regarding the roster has seen him get blamed for the Lakers' plight. In any case, there is some truth to the fact that LeBron's contributions demand more praise than scorn and if the Lakers can achieve anything at all this season, it will be thanks to the King.