Ex-Lakers big man on team’s rosters with LeBron James: ‘You can’t ask for Michelin-star meals with Costco ingredients at times’

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Channing Frye, a former NBA player and teammate of LeBron James, had some interesting comments on the Los Angeles Lakers’ rosters during their time with James on the team.

James, who has a player option on his contract for the 2024-25 season, could opt out and potentially leave the Lakers after this season.

Frye was asked to rate the Lakers star’s time with the franchise, and he called into question the roster building around James during his time with Los Angeles.

“I think he made a great decision going to L.A.,” Frye told HoopsHype. “If he leaves, I’d rate him 8 out of 10. I can’t give him a 10 out of 10 because he only won once. So Bron individually, I’ll give them a 10 out of 10, but the Lakers, they only win championships, so he got one but then the other years he didn’t make the playoffs, or they got beat in the first round or whatever it is that happened. I also think you look at some of the rosters that he’s had and there’s only so much you could do with that, right? You can’t ask for Michelin-star meals with Costco ingredients at times. Sometimes it works, but he’s 39 years old, so for me, if he leaves that’s good, more power to him, but I think his time has been extremely successful. But in the end, you have to surround him with the right kind of players.”

James won a title with the Lakers in the 2019-20 season in the Orlando, Fla. bubble, but the Lakers only have one other appearance where they made it past the first round of the playoffs since he signed with the franchise.

That came in the 2022-23 season when the Lakers made the Western Conference Finals, but they were swept by the Denver Nuggets in that series.

Frye clearly thinks that the Lakers haven’t given James some of the tools he needs to win more than one title, even though the team did trade for Anthony Davis prior to the 2019-20 season.

While the Davis move was great, the Lakers have had some failed moves in James’ tenure. The team added Russell Westbrook to the roster after the 2020-21 season, but it struggled mightily with James, Westbrook and Davis as the team’s core. Westbrook wasn’t exactly a natural fit with a ball-dominant player like James.

This season, the team hasn’t exactly played as well as it would have liked – especially since it won the NBA’s In-Season Tournament.

The Lakers are just 19-20 on the season and currently sit in the No. 11 spot in the Western Conference.

Even though the team made several moves last offseason in the free agent market, the Lakers have not found the same success that they did at the end of last season.

The team did bring back Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell, but injuries have exposed the team’s depth – or lack thereof – in the 2023-24 season.

Frye played with James in Cleveland – winning a title with him in the 2015-16 season. He clearly has seen what it takes to build a championship roster, and it appears he thinks the Lakers haven’t done that for all of James’ tenure with the franchise.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.