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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

LeBron James delivers laughable quote about Lakers’ roster moves

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to search extensively to find a trade partner for Russell Westbrook this offseason, but LeBron James insists that will not be done at his request. In fact, the four-time MVP claims he is not going to interfere with any roster decisions in the coming weeks or months.

James was asked about Westbrook during his end-of-season press conference on Monday. He had nothing but positive things to say about his teammate, which was not a surprise. The most entertaining takeaway from LeBron’s discussion of Westbrook was when he said he is “not going to sit here and make decisions for the front office.”

There is no player in the NBA who has more of an influence in personnel decisions than LeBron. If he demanded that the Lakers keep Westbrook, that is exactly what they would do. If he wants Westbrook gone, the veteran point guard will be gone. That is the way it has worked in L.A. and with other teams James has been a part of, which is not uncommon in the NBA.

LeBron wanted to play with Westbrook. When his camp leaks reports about his disapproval of the Lakers’ front office, that is a convenient way for James to not hold himself accountable for the influence he has. You can call that one of the perks of being arguably the best player in the NBA.

Photo: Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

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