‘I think this is a direct message to Rob Pelinka and the Lakers front office’: Kendrick Perkins on LeBron’s cryptic post

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are now 0-4 in the 2022-23 season after losing to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles didn’t have guard Russell Westbrook in the matchup, but the supporting cast around LeBron James and Anthony Davis struggled once again in the loss.

So far this season, Los Angeles is shooting a historically bad percentage from beyond the arc, making it nearly impossible for the team to win against some of the league’s better teams.

Lakers star LeBron James finished Wednesday’s game with 19 points, seven rebounds and nine assists while shooting 8-for-21 from the field and 2-for-8 from beyond the arc. It certainly wasn’t James’ best game, but he shared a pointed message on Instagram on Thursday.


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It’s concerning for the Lakers if James feels like the team is wasting his talents, even though he did sign an extension with the team through the 2023-24 season in the offseason.

One of James’ former teammates and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins believes that the Instagram post is a direct message to Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and the team’s front office.

If Perkins is right, it could be possible that James is trying to force Pelinka’s hand to make a trade to improve the team’s roster .

Outside of Lonnie Walker IV, the Lakers haven’t gotten much production from their role players through the first four games of the season. It also may be time for the team to trade Westbrook, even if it means losing out on future first-round picks, as he’s struggled mightily in the three games he’s played this season.

The former MVP is averaging 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting just 28.9 percent from the field and 8.3 percent from beyond the arc. With other players like Patrick Beverley and Austin Reaves struggling with their shot, the Lakers really could use better performances from Westbrook when he returns to the lineup.

James had a fantastic season for the Lakers in the 2021-22 campaign, but injuries held him out for a good chunk of the season. The team failed to make the playoffs.

It’s possible that James sees a similar outcome unfolding this season (missing the postseason) even though he is healthy. If that’s the case, he may try to convince the front office to make a move that will give him a chance to lead the Lakers to a playoff berth 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.