June 22, 2024

These words ring in long-time Los Angeles Times writer Bill Plaschke’s latest article. It focuses on Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, essentially calling for him to leave the team.

Bill Plaschke - Los Angeles Times

The Lakers have seen their fair share of issues this season, but James didn’t help anything with his hourglass tweet hours after the Atlanta Hawks blew out the team. Los Angeles then proceeded to win two straight games against two top Eastern Conference squads, one of which was without the services of James.

— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 31, 2024

When he was asked about the tweet, he refused to give any insight. It was another example of the passive-aggressive nature of James that has followed him throughout his career. Plaschke seemingly has had enough of it on the Lakers.

“For all his greatness, James remains a passive-aggressive pain in the butt who annually cryptically threatens the Lakers if they don’t give him a championship roster. Yet while he delivers weird nudges and noogies about the team’s problems, he’s continually ignoring the obvious. He’s the problem.”

Per Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times

Now, the criticism of the Lakers themselves is fair, but to call out James personally seems wrong. While he does come with baggage, he is still one of the best players in the game today.

Whenever a player like James is on a roster, there is a sense of pressure to win, even if it means forgoing the future assets. The Lakers have always lived and died by their star players, and they won’t stop that now.

“He’s the team’s most tradeable asset, yet the Lakers don’t feel they can trade him. He has to win now, which means the Lakers can’t build for the future. He runs the team, which means coach Darvin Ham is always leading from a position of panic. The Lakers can’t live with him, but they also can’t live without him, and they are unwilling to unilaterally deal a historic player having another historic season.”

Per Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times

Plaschke also mentioned that the title James did help the Lakers win was nice, but ultimately, it doesn’t mean as much as the others.

“As for the fans, James awes, but he doesn’t quite connect. That 2020 title was won entirely in Florida, meaning Los Angeles has never personally seen James lead this team to a title, and that matters. He’s no Magic. He’s no Kobe. He’s not even Kareem. He could leave and the town would quickly get over it.”

Per Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times

While the Lakers are in a state of flux right now, to discredit the title seems like an overreach. The 2020 title brought the Lakers back from the dead, and James deserves the credit for that.

Nobody knows what the future holds for James, but the hope is that he stays with the team. Los Angeles is better off with him on the team rather than letting him walk in the summer. After all, he is arguably the greatest player of all time.

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