This Investigation Into The Lakers Never Using LeBron Pictures In Losses Is The Best Thing You’ll See Today

The big story in Los Angeles on Sunday night was someone getting a bit too comfortable, suddenly being smacked in the face, and simply not knowing how to respond. I am speaking, of course, of the Lakers building a 23-point lead on the Pelicans in New Orleans, taking their foot off of the gas, and then not being able to get it back in gear as the Pelicans dominated the second half to win by eight points and push the Lakers down to 10th in the West, just one game up on the Spurs for the final play-in spot.

It was a dreadful loss in a season full of them, and after the game the Lakers sent out their customary final score graphic, with a caption that simply reads “Final.” and featured a picture of Wenyen Gabriel shooting next to the losing score.

It’s a model the Lakers social media team has had to follow far more often this season than they hoped, but this one garnered some added attention because a comment about how they never use a picture of LeBron in losses (even those in which he scores 39 points, like Sunday) sparked an investigation by Kenny Beecham to see if that was, in fact the case. The result is an incredible video featuring bar graphs that reveal that James, in fact, has not been used once in a loss graphic this season (and neither have Russell Westbrook or Anthony Davis), while LeBron and Russ dominate win graphics.

It’s noticeable because most teams will just put a pic of whoever up there, including stars, for loss graphics and keep it moving, but that James is never in them defies the law of averages to the point that there is no way it’s a coincidence he (and Russ) aren’t used — as an aside, poor Malik Monk.

I decided to do a little digging of my own to see how far back this goes and searched for every Lakers tweet with media that includes the word “final” and found that, while that doesn’t include every single loss it does include most of them, the last time LeBron appeared in a Lakers final score graphic from a loss was March 2019. On March 14, you see his back as Alex Caruso dribbles, and March 9, 2019 is the last time his face appears on one of these graphics.

So, it’s not as though it’s been written in stone since he arrived in L.A., but over the past three seasons, at least, when the Lakers lose, you do not see LeBron on the graphic.