LeBron James on struggling Lakers: ‘We like where we are’
LeBron James’ impression of where the Los Angeles Lakers stand appears to have changed in a matter of days, as the superstar is now preaching outright positivity instead of barely veiled concern.
With the Lakers set to face the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night, James opted to express faith that he and his teammates can get things turned around and qualify for the postseason, despite the Lakers having dropped two straight and seven of 10.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports that James expressed some statement of confidence in the Lakers eight times during his seven-minute session with the media.
“We like where we are,” he said in his opening answer.
“I like where we are today,” he continued minutes later.
James had previously expressed skepticism that the young Lakers squad has what it takes to get things done after Monday’s disappointing loss to the Grizzlies.
Lakers’ LeBron James after loss to Grizzlies (via @SpectrumSN): “If you’re still allowing distractions to affect the way you play, this is the wrong franchise to be a part of and you should just come in and be like, ‘Listen, I can’t do this.’” pic.twitter.com/s3gHiuhODx— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 26, 2019
James sidestepped a question Wednesday about whether or not his comments to the media are in lockstep to what he says behind closed doors to his teammates. Instead, James opted to focus on the positive.
“We have an opportunity today to make the most of today and not worry about what happened in the past,” James said. “We’re not worried about what the time strain is or what everyone else is saying. I think it’s what happens in here and I feel good about where we are.”
There has been some blowback toward James in light of his most recent critical comments — not to mention how he handled the Anthony Davis trade saga — which is somewhat surprising given he’s never been one to hold back when times are tough.
Basketball Reference is only giving the Lakers (29-31, 11th in the Western Conference) only a 3.5 percent chance of reaching the postseason. If James cannot will the Lakers into the playoffs, his first season in L.A. will have been a total disaster.