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#pounditFriday, September 22, 2023

Lakers’ social media team has turned surprising player into scapegoat

LeBron James looking on

The finger-pointing for the Los Angeles Lakers’ dismal season continues, and it appears to be making a scapegoat of an unlikely player on the roster.

Content creator Kenny Beecham shared some research this week about the final-score graphics that have been posted by the Lakers’ social media team this year. Beecham found that LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook have combined for zero total appearances on graphics following losses. Instead, Malik Monk has been featured the most times on post-loss graphics with ten total appearances out of 43 losses. Meanwhile, the James-Davis-Westbrook trio has featured 19 total times when it comes to post-win graphics (compared to just three times for Monk). The Lakers have 31 wins.

Here are examples of the post-loss graphics that have often featured Monk.

Meanwhile, Lakers wins are almost all James, Davis, and Westbrook.

Subtly scapegoating Monk for the team’s losses is pretty misguided. Monk is by no means a perfect player — he struggles with defense, consistency, and creating for others. But he is on a minimum deal and, as one of their best pure shooters and scorers, is the one offseason signing that actually worked out for the Lakers. They completely whiffed on several others (like Kendrick Nunn, Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza, and DeAndre Jordan to name a few).

At the same time, players who are making much more money have been way bigger problems. For Westbook, who is making $44.2 million this season, his struggles have been very well-documented. Davis, who is making $35.4 million, has missed over half the season and couldn’t hit the side of a barn from deep even when he was healthy. Even James, making $41.2 million, has become a glorified stat-padder this season who does not really make those around him better any more.

Monk himself recently had some concerning comments about the Lakers’ lack of accountability. Their social media team turning Monk into the fall guy would definitely seem to fit that billing as well.

H/T NBA Reddit

Photo: Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


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