The honeymoon in Hollywood might be very much over for LeBron James.
It’s been almost a year since the Los Angeles Lakers signed the superstar, and the mercurial forward is apparently already getting antsy. While the first season was a bit of a giveaway, this summer always has been circled as a key piece in the Lakers’ rebuilding efforts, but if they can’t find a star (or two) to put alongside James, he might have yet another decision to make.
Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke on ESPN Radio this week said the Lakers will have “big trouble” with James if they aren’t able to add a star this summer.
“I’m hearing that, if they whiff on free agency, and if they whiff on a trade — which I don’t know how likely that is — but if that happens, they’ve got big trouble with LeBron,” Plaschke said, as transcribed by Pro Basketball Talk. “Why would LeBron — I mean, the LeBron era could be over before it starts here.
“I heard this for the first time yesterday. Somebody very connected said ‘You know what, if they whiff, LeBron’s going to say either I’m out of here or get me out of here, or the Lakers just might as well just get him out of here.'”
Los Angeles missed the playoffs in James’ first season on the West Coast, which, while not ideal, wasn’t entirely surprising. This summer also was going to be the pivotal series of events with a handful of big-name free agents ready to make splashes. But the foundation of the Lakers’ rebuild started showing cracks even before the house was even close to completed. It’s largely accepted LA butchered Anthony Davis trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans to the point where New Orleans reportedly wouldn’t consider doing business with the Lakers, although the team has refuted that report.
Perhaps the Lakers’ best option will be targeting likely free agent guard Kyrie Irving and reuniting the former Cleveland Cavaliers duo. However, Irving still might have his eyes on New York, which could put the Lakers in a further bind, especially if James is indeed about to put the pressure on the team.
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