Did LeBron James’ ‘Kill’ Lakers’ Chemistry? Latest Skid Makes It Hard To Argue


Feb 26, 2019

The Los Angeles Lakers are very much in danger of missing the NBA playoffs, and LeBron James is playing a role in the team’s misfortunes.

Just two days after a loss to the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans, James and the Lakers dropped another game, this one to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies.

The losses now have L.A. two games under .500 sitting at 11th place in the Western Conference and three games out of the playoff field.

James said after the Pelicans loss that his young Lakers teammates were too accustomed to losing which might be true, but James didn’t do much to help the cause Monday night. The superstar was a woeful 8-of-23 from the floor with five turnovers in the loss.

His defense (or general lack of interest in playing anything resembling defense) didn’t help the Lakers’ cause, either.

Coincidentally, James’ performance came on the same day Bleacher Report published a story asserting “LeBron James  Isn’t Blameless During LA Lakers’ Struggles.” The piece details James’ growing penchant for lazy defense.

“LeBron rarely exerts himself beyond a casual jog in transition defense and disregards spot-up shooters in most half-court situations, leaving them wide open,” Pete Zayas of Laker Film Room told Bleacher Report. “His defensive game these days resembles a disinterested center rather than the high-end wing defender that he once was.”

The more scathing criticism, though, came from an unnamed NBA executive who wondered whether the perception James wants to tinker with the Lakers’ roster is taking its toll on the rest of the roster.

“He killed the (Lakers’) chemistry,” the exec told Bleacher Report. “He shouldn’t have been so public about it. Even during the All-Star draft, he laughed about (wanting Anthony Davis to be his teammate).”

It’s not all gloom and doom for James, though. On Monday night, he became the first player in NBA history to be in the top 10 all-time in both points and assists. He celebrated by congratulating himself on Instagram.


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Thumbnail photo via Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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