Sportress of Blogitude

Charles Barkley: LeBron James, Lakers ‘not gonna win’ title next year (vid)

LeBron James’ decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers has been greeted with great fanfare and buzz, and deservedly so. However, count Charles Barkley among those who disagree with the notion that King James can make another successful run at an NBA title while playing in L.A., especially in the near future.

Barkley was approached by a TMZ camera crew this week and was asked about the prospects of the Lakers competing for a championship in 2018-19. Suffice to say, Sir Charles, no stranger to telling like it is, is not inclined to rubber stamp an appearance in the Finals in 2019 for LeBron and Co.

“He not gonna win next year,” Barkley said Tuesday outside Madeo in Beverly Hills. “Stop it, dude.”

While the oddsmakers in Las Vegas immediately tabbed the Lakers as legitimate title contenders thanks to the addition of James, the fact remains the team’s roster in its current incarnation hardly measures up to the likes of those Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets boast.

Youth and inexperience are the tale of the Lakers outside of LeBron, with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma still learning the ropes. So, if no other additions are made, James without question faces an uphill, if not impossible, climb to reach a ninth consecutive NBA Finals next season.

Barkley nevertheless hails James as a great player. But even The King should not be expected to lead the Lakers to the promised land. At least not this upcoming season.

The TNT analyst of course is known for some pretty crazy hot takes from time to time, but his analysis of the Lakers’ title prospects in 2019 — even with James in tow — is subjectively sound.