Lakers players reportedly called out LeBron about his body language
The Los Angeles Lakers are wrapping up an incredibly disappointing season, and a lot of their struggles have been blamed on their young and inexperienced roster. However, those young players felt LeBron James was far from perfect in his first season with the team, and they apparently let him know about it last month.
In a lengthy piece about the Lakers’ wasted first season with LeBron, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that Rajon Rondo organized a players-only meeting following the team’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 23. James was the one who asked for the meeting, and the goal was for him and his teammates to gain “a better understanding of one another.” Some Lakers players expressed concern over LeBron’s body language during the discussion, and James acknowledged that is an area he needs to improve upon.
Here’s more from McMenamin:
In what became an open forum, several players spoke up. Players focused on James’ inconsistent body language throughout the year. The four-time MVP copped to the critique, telling his teammates that, in essence, cutting out behavior like slumped shoulders and sideways glances has been something he has tried to work on his entire career.
LeBron appeared to make an effort to engage with his teammates and have positive interactions with them the following game, though the result was a 110-105 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. While the meeting was considered beneficial, a positive meeting “doesn’t mean we’re going to win 25 games in a row,” as one Lakers source told McMenamin.
The meeting took place not long after the Lakers openly pursued Anthony Davis. Many of the Lakers’ young players — including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, Kyle Kuzma — were mentioned in trade talks for Davis, and LeBron had previously said that must be tough on them. One popular theory is that the Pelicans never intended to do business with the Lakers and leaked details of the trade discussions in an attempt to cause team chemistry issues, and it may have worked.
After the comments he made about Davis that were viewed by the Pelicans as tampering, LeBron must have had a tough time convincing his current teammates he still wanted to play with them — if he even tried. That is something the Lakers are going to have to address this offseason.