LeBron’s former teammate bashes Lakers: ‘Hell no, they’re not a threat’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, isn’t buying the Lakers as a threat in the Western Conference this season.


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The Lakers currently hold the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference after they lost to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night at Crypto.com Arena.

Even though Perkins went to the NBA Finals with James in the 2014-15 season and 2017-18 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he doesn’t seem to believe in the four-time champion’s ability to will his team to a title this season.

Last season, the Lakers ended up in the play-in tournament (there’s a chance they end up in it this season as well), but they ended up reaching the Western Conference Finals after knocking off the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.

So, it’s not impossible for the team to make a deep playoff run even if it doesn’t get a top seed in the West.

While this season hasn’t gone as well as the Lakers would have liked, the team is just three games back of the No. 6 seed (where it would avoid the play-in tournament).

It’s possible that Perkins is concerned about the Lakers’ strength of schedule the rest of the season, as the team has the seventh-hardest remaining schedule, according to Tankathon.

Los Angeles still has two games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves, and it has just as many road games as home games left. The team has already played 33 games at home to just 31 games on the road.

That’s significant since Los Angeles is a much better team at Crypto.com Arena (22-11) than it has been away from home this season (12-19 on the road).

However, the Lakers may have caught a bit of a break – at least in their two remaining games against the Timberwolves – as the team may have lost star Karl-Anthony Towns for a significant stretch of time due to a knee injury.

If the Lakers want to prove doubters like Perkins wrong, they’ll need to finish the 2023-24 regular season strong. Even getting up to the No. 8 seed in the West would be huge, as it would give the team two chances to win one play-in game and reach the final playoff field.

The Lakers’ next game is on Friday night against the Bucks.

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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.