LeBron James is too smart.
The bad news for the Los Angeles Lakers is that they have started out the season looking really bad, and still have yet to win a game. Russell Westbrook, who has already blamed coming off the bench for an injury and was pretty happy with himself for an 0-for-11 shooting night, tried and failed to fill that role by attempting a 16-foot pullup jumper that would have extended the home team’s lead to three points with 27 seconds remaining. It seemed like LeBron James and Anthony Davis did care much for what would prove to be a misfire.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis disgusted after Russell Westbrook bricks a jumper with a 102-101 lead. 17 seconds were left on the shot clock and 30 seconds left in the game. pic.twitter.com/GAa7zWAuRl
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) October 23, 2022
LeBron James should probably be the guy to have the ball in that spot, but you have Russ, who needs the ball as much as possible to facilitate his game. LeBron James took the high road after smelling bait in the postgame.
“I feel like this is an interview of trying to set me up to say something. I can tell that you guys are in the whole ‘Russell Westbrook category’ right now,” James said three questions into his postgame news conference. “I don’t like to lose. I hate to lose at anything. I don’t care what happens throughout the course of my season or throughout the course of my career, I hate to lose. And especially the way we had this game. But give credit to Portland.
“You guys can write about Russ and all the things you want to try to talk about Russ, but I’m not up here to do that. I won’t do it. I’ve said it over and over. …That’s not who I am.”
The Lakers have started out 0-3 mostly because they rank last in 3-point shooting (21.2%). It took L.A. more than seven minutes to make a 3-pointer after missing its first five from beyond the arc. The Lakers missed all nine of their 3-points attempts in the second quarter. Once Patrick Beverley made the team’s second 3-pointer with 8:37 left in the third quarter, Lakers fans gave a dramatic standing ovation.
“We can’t shoot a penny in the ocean,” James said. “But it hasn’t stopped us from competing. It hasn’t stopped us from defending.”
By the time Christmas rolls around he Lakers could very well be out of playoff contention. There’s no doubt they’re already trying to figure out a way to part with Westbrook.
Russell is not going to work on the Lakers, that much is clear.
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