Over the last couple of seasons, LeBron James’ frustration with the subpar roster the Los Angeles Lakers have put around him has seemingly grown.
On Wednesday, they lost their fifth game in their last six contests, and James made it clear that his only real goal at this point of his career is to win championships.
LeBron: "I wanna win and give myself a chance to win and still compete for championships. That's always been my passion…my goal. Once you get there and know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to be playing basketball is just not in my DNA anymore."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) December 29, 2022
James has four NBA titles to his name, which has placed him in some select company. However, the one blemish on his resume is his six losses in the championship series, making him an easy target for some pundits.
He is now in his 20th season and is two days shy of hitting his 38th birthday. He had 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting on Wednesday versus the Miami Heat, and on the season, he is averaging 27.8 points on 49.8 percent shooting, 8.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.
The Lakers have some helpful pieces around him they didn’t have last season, such as center Thomas Bryant and point guard Dennis Schroder. However, they lack the type of productive forwards and shooters James has been able to rely on in past years.
They are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, and lately, they have had problems defensively and on the boards.
Some within the Lakers organization have felt they’re just a couple of pieces, particularly frontcourt pieces, away from possibly being a championship contender. However, Anthony Davis’ latest injury has cast some doubt on that sentiment.
If Davis ends up missing more than a few more weeks, and especially if the team continues to struggle without him, making a trade to acquire those pieces may not be enough to salvage its season.
James is currently under contract for one more season after this one, with a player option for the 2024-25 campaign. He has stated multiple times that he wants to play in the NBA with his son Bronny, who won’t be eligible to enter the NBA draft until 2024.