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#pounditThursday, December 1, 2022

LeBron James in ‘early days of war’ with Lakers’ front office?

LeBron James looking on

The relationship between LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers appears to be in a bad place at the moment, and there is apparently a sense among some people that the worst is yet to come.

A story this week claimed Rich Paul, who represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis and other Lakers players, is unhappy with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and the team’s front office. The frustration reportedly stems from L.A.’s decision to not trade for John Wall ahead of the deadline. On Wednesday, Bill Oram of The Athletic said a source told him the friction between James, Paul and the Lakers feels like “the early days of war.

The Lakers are 27-31, so it is hardly a surprise that players are unhappy. It’s clear they don’t have enough to contend for a title, yet they chose not to make any moves at the deadline. That seemed like an admission that they are looking toward the future, which is something the 37-year-old James does not want to hear.

Of course, LeBron was the one who pressured the Lakers to trade for Russell Westbrook last offseason. That move has been a disaster, which is why many find it ironic that James seemed to take a subtle shot at his team’s front office recently.

LeBron is under contract through next season, but he’s going to do everything he can to pressure the Lakers to improve their roster. That has already begun, hence all the reports of tension. If the Lakers aren’t willing to do whatever it takes to make their aging superstar happy, the next roster move LeBron tries to orchestrate could be his own exit.

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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