It’s beginning to look more and more like no one is more excited for the NBA season to end than LeBron James.
The superstar’s first season with the Los Angeles Lakers has been a trainwreck. A groin injury for James essentially derailed LA’s season, and if that wasn’t enough, the fallout from a rumor-filled trade deadline put the Lakers on their deathbed. Now, with a month or so to play, a three-game losing streak seems to indicate James and Co. are OK with playing out the stretch and just getting onto the summer.
The Lakers lost again Monday night, their seventh defeat in 10 games. At one point during the game, head coach Luke Walton was seen drawing up a play with his players intently watching and listening. All of his players, that is, except for James, who stood away from the huddle with his back to Walton and the rest of the team.
Some might argue James is so good that he doesn’t even really need to be involved in a huddle, especially if the message is aimed or directed at others. That being said, it’s not the greatest of looks for James, the supposed leader of the club, to look so disinterested in what’s being communicated to his teammates.
This snapshot also is unlikely to quiet any rumors about Walton’s future as head coach of the Lakers. LA’s lost season — along with the notion or belief James at least is somewhat calling the shots — has Walton’s job security very much in question.
“The prevailing assumption in league coaching circles remains that Walton will almost certainly be dismissed after the season, followed by the Lakers resuming their trade quest for (Anthony) Davis,” The New York Times’ Marc Stein wrote Monday.
Stein also wrote: “Changes are coming, though. It’s an open secret that a big off-season reset looms in Lakerland. James always knew that his new club would not be in the title mix until his second campaign as a Laker, but his patience predictably faded quickly — one more reason desperation has become so palpable around this team.”
James, seemingly with every game, looks more and more resigned to the fact that it’s just time to start looking ahead to the summer.
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Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images