The 2021-22 L.A. Lakers look like one of the worst LeBron James-led teams in recent memory. One of James’ old teammates seems to think so too.
The Lakers had yet another candidate for “worst loss of the season” over the weekend, getting blown out by the Denver Nuggets 133-96. After the game, former NBA big man Channing Frye, now an analyst for NBATV, had harsh words for the Lakers.
“It’s hard to be that bad,” said Frye. “This score? They should’ve got beat by 50. The Lakers, this game alone, were so undisciplined. They were double-teaming for no reason. They were not rotating. Guys weren’t communicating. They were making poor decisions.
“I’ve seen some bad basketball,” he added. “This is probably one of the worst games I’ve seen from a team that has good players on it. The communication between the players wasn’t good. The body language was bad … There was no passion and energy from the Lakers this game, which I find upsetting as a basketball player because this is an opportunity to get better and compete.”
Frye played with James on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2016 to 2018. That included making two Finals appearances together and winning it all in 2016.
Now over halfway into the regular season, the Lakers are still under .500. They have also given up an appalling 120.0 points per game in January.
While the Lakers are an old team, including James himself, who is now 37, it is rare to see a squad led by the former MVP playing this poorly for this long. Frye is not the only ex-James teammate wondering what is going on here.
H/T NBA Reddit
Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James apologized on Sunday night as his Los Angeles Lakers have received criticism for their poor play.
The Lakers were blown out on Saturday at Denver 133-96. The blowout loss led to criticism from notable former Lakers star player and executive, Magic Johnson.
Russell Westbrook was among those who was asked about Johnson’s comments.
James may have felt compelled to respond too.
LeBron sent an apology note to the team’s fans:
“#LakerNation I apologize and I promise we’ll be better!” James wrote.
The loss marked the Lakers’ third in a row and dropped them below .500 for the season. That’s not anything near what the fans and organization expects from the team.
The apology is a somewhat thoughtful gesture, but the fans want to see wins, not tweets. Usually an apology at this point in a season is not a very good sign.
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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
LeBron James is explaining why he snuck out the back door instead of speaking to the media after his team’s most recent loss.
The Los Angeles Lakers got smoked by the Denver Nuggets on the weekend, losing in a 133-96 blowout. James left without doing a postgame press conference, which is a rare occurrence for him.
On Monday, James explained why he did not stick around for reporters.
“I didn’t like what was going to come out of my mouth,” the former MVP said, per Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll. “I understand that things that I say can be everywhere, so I didn’t want to do that to my teammates at that point in time.”
James is known for handling losing poorly. It sounds like he stopped himself before saying something that he would regret, such as potentially throwing his teammates under the bus.
The Lakers responded to the thrashing by Denver with their best win of the season, beating the Utah Jazz on Monday 101-95. But the team remains .500 on the year, and there are signs that they are still skating on very thin ice.
Photo: Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports