This Lakers Season Has Been a Catastrophe

LeBron James had a rough first Lakers season. Do you think he’ll do better next season?

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It’s fair to say that LeBron James’ first season with the Los Angeles Lakers has been rough.

When news first came out that the sport’s best player was signing with its most iconic and glamorous brand, it seemed the glory days were to return for the Lakers.

But, over 70 games in, the season has been problematic because of injuries, roster construction and James himself.

A championship was not expected in year one, but the playoffs were, and the 34-year-old superstar is set to end his playoff streak at 13 years and won’t be seen in the postseason for the first time since his second season back in 2004-2005.

The Lakers started off the season 20-14, good for fourth in the daunting Western Conference and were coming off an impressive road victory against the Golden State Warriors. But, during that win, they lost James to a groin injury which ended up costing him 17 games.

But he wasn’t the only one – numerous other key players missed significant time due to injury around the same time and made the coaching job for Luke Walton historically hard.

“It was unfortunate because it got hit with so many injuries in rapid succession,” Kobe Bryant said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “When they were rolling, I mean, they were playing very well, I think exceeding people’s expectations. But then they got hit with all these injuries. Kind of set ’em back, knocked them off-kilter a little bit. It’s hard to reboot that and so now they get caught in that rut. But next year should be better.”

“Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it,” he added as a message to James.

LeBron has played in just 51 of LA’s first 71 games (as of March 19) but has put up the excellent numbers we have grown accustomed to seeing. His 27.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists on 51.4% from the field are in line with career averages.

But those numbers have come at a cost as he’s failed to make his younger teammates better and has isolated himself from the team – especially the younger teammates.

This all stems from the Anthony Davis trade situation where LeBron James’ camp was pushing hard for a trade to bring the All-Star over from the New Orleans Pelicans. And, because he appeared willing to trade them all in a heartbeat, he alienated all the younger players, and things haven’t been the same. And on top of all this, reports are he doesn’t respect his coaches one bit, which has been a knock on him throughout his career.

The situation has been a dumpster fire for three months, and it got so bad that owner Jeanie Buss, who became so angry with James’ agent, contemplated trading the superstar, according to Bleacher Report’s Rich Bucher.

This all validates Kevin Durant’s earlier comments: Anywhere LeBron James goes becomes a “toxic situation.” In this case, there is a power struggle between James and his camp and Buss, with President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson in the middle.

And it’s this chaos that dims what was once a bright future for Los Angeles. They were expected to sign one of the elite free agents available this summer to pair with James and a talented young core and gear up for a legitimate title run, but the team has become an undesirable destination.

According to reports, none of the elite-level players that will be available such as Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving are interested in teaming up with James.

That would mean a trade for Anthony Davis is LA’s best bet, but that seems unlikely now because the Lakers’ trade assets have declined in value.

Their best asset outside of LeBron James is the 21-year-old Brandon Ingram who turned a corner after the All-Star game and started to live up to his extremely high ceiling. But he was recently diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and underwent surgery a few days ago. However, surgery or not, it’s a medical problem that has forced players to retire prematurely.

Lonzo Ball, 21,  can’t seem to stay healthy and has officially become injury-prone after two seasons. And Kyle Kuzma alone will not get the deal done. Head coach Luke Walton is expected to be fired after the season, but what top-level coach would leave their current situation to fix a mess such as this?

So, with no apparent help on the way other than a lottery draft pick and a 34-year-old LeBron James, how can the Lakers turn into title contenders?

You can expect LeBron James to come back motivated more than ever next season and have one of his best seasons yet. But how will it translate to team success? For a season that was supposed to be a stepping-stone, it has left us with a lot more questions than answers.


Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

LeBron James had a rough first Lakers season. Do you think he’ll do better next season?

Totals
71% N- his time's up
29% he's a legend
Males
71% N- his time's up
29% Y- he's a legend
Females
69% N- his time's up
31% Y-he's a legend

N- his time’s up

Y- he’s a legend


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