LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have had an interesting season to say the least, and find themselves in 11th in the West, three games out of a playoff spot.
James has called into question his teammates’ focus after recent losses to the Grizzlies and Pelicans, asking if basketball is the most important thing in their lives. LeBron has always been able to separate his off court interests from his on court work, never seemingly letting it affect his play, but given the way the team has performed and all of the things he’s involved with, fans are growing restless with James.
Just in the last week, LeBron has announced a new episode of “The Shop,” which was shot over the All-Star break, a release date for Space Jam 2, and his involvement as A&R on 2 Chainz’s upcoming album “Rap Or Go To The League.” As part of the rollout for the album, 2 Chainz has released some videos of he and LeBron in an L.A. studio putting in some late nights trying to dial in the tracklist and everything else.
One such video opens by noting it was Feb. 1 at 11:43 p.m., which led some Lakers fans to notice that would indicate James was in the studio with 2 Chainz late the night before he sat out a Lakers loss in Oakland to the Warriors for “load management.”
On Wednesday, LeBron was asked about this and denies that being the case. He instead indicated it was prior to the Lakers playing the Warriors in Los Angeles, which would’ve been on Jan. 21, not Feb. 1, and when James was still sitting out with his groin injury rather than after his return.
That would make more sense and maybe make Lakers fans a little less frustrated with his late night if he was still not playing yet. In any case, the relationship between James and Lakers fans is more strained than I think anyone expected it would be this early in his tenure. All will be forgiven if they make the playoffs, but if they can’t claw their way to the 8-seed, the expectations for this summer will be even greater for them to make sweeping roster changes.