‘I feel bad for Bron, man’: LeBron James’ former teammate says he doesn’t deserve this at this point in his career

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

The start of the 2022-23 season has not been kind to the Los Angeles Lakers, as they sit at 0-3 on the season with losses to the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.

The Lakers have struggled to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with role players that complement their respective skill sets, and it’s led to the Lakers losing more than they’d like early on this season.

Los Angeles currently has the worst 3-point percentage (21.2 percent) in the NBA, and guards Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley have struggled.

James, who signed an extension in the offseason that will keep him with the Lakers at least through the 2023-24 season, is facing one of the toughest challenges in his storied career.

Carlos Arroyo, one of James’ former teammates on the Miami Heat, shared his thoughts on James’ situation in Los Angeles on a recent episode of “Road Trippin’” with Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Allie Clifton.

“I feel bad for Bron, man,” Arroyo said. “I played with Bron in Miami, and you guys played with Bron. You know how serious he is about the game. You know how determined he is about winning. He cares.

“I know he’s struggling. I know he has to be struggling in that locker room. He’s putting on the great face of being a professional.”

The Lakers missed the playoffs in the 2021-22 season, and they haven’t won a playoff series since winning the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 campaign.

Injuries have hurt James recently, as he appeared in just 56 games last season and 45 games in the 2020-21 campaign. Still, the Lakers’ supporting cast simply hasn’t performed at the level that many have expected over the last few seasons.

“I don’t think he deserves what he’s going through at this point in his career,” Arroyo said. “But I would say he’s a great leader. Hopefully he turns things around over there.”

There is still a ton of time in the 2022-23 campaign for the Lakers to turn things around, but there are glaring issues on the roster.

Not only does Los Angeles lack outside shooting, but the team doesn’t have a consistent third option it can lean on behind James and Davis.

Lonnie Walker IV, who signed with the Lakers in free agency in the offseason, is the team’s third-leading scorer in the 2022-23 campaign, averaging 15.3 points per game.

However, Walker has only averaged over 10 points per game in two seasons in his NBA career, and he’s been relatively inconsistent through the team’s first three games, posting performances of 5, 26 and 15 points.

Westbrook is supposed to be the team’s third star, but he is shooting just 28.9 percent from the field and averaging 10.3 points per game this season.

That puts a lot more pressure on James and Davis to play at an elite level every single night for Los Angeles.

Arroyo clearly knows how much James cares about winning, so it is understandable that he feels bad for his former teammate.

Unless the Lakers make a trade that improves the roster, it will be up to James and Davis to turn things around in the 2022-23 campaign.

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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.