The Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James, are now in a difficult situation. Following their most recent 109-104 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, they are now six games below 500.
Despite this, head coach Frank Vogel feels upbeat about the team’s chances of improving their play in the last weeks of the regular season. Vogel recently told reporters that it is usual for many teams to have a poor regular season before gaining momentum at the perfect time.
The Lakers Have Failed LeBron James
By now, LeBron James should have dropped off the map. In December, he turned 37 years old. Between the regular season and the playoffs, he’ll pass 63K minutes in his career, a mark only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can match in NBA history. While he has escaped catastrophic injury, he has spent the previous several seasons dealing with a variety of strains and sprains that have accumulated over time.
Despite this, James is still one of the top six or seven players in the world in Year 19. While he may not be able to go all-out on every possession of every regular-season game like Giannis Antetokounmpo, James’ top level is still perhaps as high as any player in the league today. Under the ideal conditions, there’s little question he can still be the best player on a championship team.
The Los Angeles Lakers, unfortunately for him, do not have a championship-caliber squad. They wouldn’t even have a playoff squad right now if it weren’t for the enlarged structure via the play-in round, which James previously railed against. At a point in his career when he should be beefing up his credentials in preparation for GOAT debates over the next 50 years, James is instead left to play out the string for a team that has been stuck in a rut before the season began.
In Year 19, the Lakers failed LeBron James. It’s easy to question how many more amazing seasons he has left.