The Lakers are melting down ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline.
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered one of their most embarrassing losses of the season on Wednesday night, falling to a Portland Trail Blazers team that has traded more than half their rotation players over the last few days.
That came only one night after of a blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, after which LeBron James declared that he doesn’t believe his team can get to the level of the defending champions as currently constructed. With the trade deadline looming though, many Lakers players have heard their name in rumors, and James believes that may be affecting the team’s play.
“Obviously it’s something that’s weighing on this group that we’re trying to all get through,” James said after the loss to Portland. “Almost feels like it’s like fog, just fog in the air and we’re trying to see what’s on the other side of it. I obviously take today, take tomorrow like any other day and if something changes, then I’ll approach it.
“But I’m literally just tired as hell right now. I just want to get some wine and get into bed and wake up tomorrow and feel good about what tomorrow has in store and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens as far as the deadline, but other than that I’m kind of just focused on what we can do to be better.”
Most interesting LeBron quote on the looming trade deadline: "Obviously this is something that’s weighing on this group that we’re all trying to get through. Almost feels like it’s a fog, just fog in the air. And we’re all trying to see what’s on the other side of it."
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) February 10, 2022
James went on to discuss the mental challenges that this season has brought on for him and his teammates.
“Mental fatigue is always a part of the season. It’s a marathon, it’s a long season that happens and it’s even more fatigue when you’re losing ballgames. So that’s the mental side of it, but just staying as sharp as possible, keeping your mind into how we can get better, how we can be more prepared, how we can have less breakdowns both offensively and defensively.
“So as far as the mental side for me, that never changes. I never get to a point where I’m just like out of it. If I’m on the floor, I’m into it the whole time unless I’m not playing or I’m not active so I’m not worried about that.”
The Lakers will be relieved once the deadline passes, then there’s no more speculation.
LeBron’s going to need to do some serious soul searching to get his team back on track.
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