LeBron James isn’t blameless in the Lakers’ recent struggles, according to at least one league executive.
Los Angeles has dealt with injuries to multiple key players and enters play Monday three games behind the Clippers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The team was also at the center of trade rumors surrounding Pelicans star Anthony Davis, with James endorsing a potential move.
“He killed the (Lakers’) chemistry,” one anonymous NBA executive told Bleacher Report about James. “He shouldn’t have been so public about it. Even during the All-Star draft, he laughed about (wanting Davis to be his teammate).”
James strained his groin in late December and was sidelined for 17 games. Rajon Rondo has also missed extended time this season while Lonzo Ball is currently out with a sprained ankle.
“I’m so huge on … chemistry and camaraderie throughout the course of the season,” James said. “The injuries have taken a toll on our team.”
The Lakers will have 22 games remaining on the schedule after their matchup Monday against the Grizzlies. They hold a 29-30 record.
“When you’ve never been there or know what it takes (to win at a high level), sometimes you’re afraid to get uncomfortable,” James said about the Lakers. “You’ve got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Lakers this summer. He’s averaging 26.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game in his first season in Los Angeles.