LeBron’s former teammate says Lakers have ‘zero’ chance of winning title this year

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Channing Frye, a former teammate of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, doesn’t believe that the Lakers have a chance to win the NBA Finals this season.

“With the Lakers?” Frye said when asked about Los Angeles’ chances of winning it all. “No, that’s a zero. That’s a zero. That is a zero, good try. I love you guys. I mean, put it this way. If we stop right now, who they playing in the play-in? The [Golden State] Warriors? That’s a 50-50 chance right there.”

Frye was also skeptical about the Lakers’ chances of beating the Dallas Mavericks in a play-in situation, stating that Dallas is hot at the moment.

James’ former teammate then revealed what he would tell the four-time champion if he saw him.

“Bron, listen, that’s my guy,” Frye continued. “I love you. If I saw him, I’d tell him the same thing. ‘Hey, you had a great year, big guy. That’s crazy. You’re 39. I sweat going up the stairs. I need a breath. You out here averaging 25. But, it ain’t it.’”

Despite the Lakers winning seven of their last 10 games, Frye isn’t sold on the team being a contender come playoff time.

Right now, Los Angeles is facing a tough road to make the NBA Finals, as the team currently holds the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference. That means the Lakers would have to win two games in the play-in tournament just to earn the No. 8 seed in the West.

There’s always a chance the team could move into a better spot, but the Lakers are 2.5 games back of the No. 8-seeded Mavericks at the moment. Getting to the eighth seed would be key, as it would give Los Angeles two chances to win one game to make the playoff field in the West.

That was the situation that the Lakers faced last season, and the team won the No. 7 vs. No. 8 play-in game to earn the No. 7 seed. James and the Lakers went on to upset the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round before taking down Golden State to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Frye may not believe that the team is capable of a run like that this season, but it’s hard to count James out in any playoff scenario.

A champion with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015-16 season, Frye knows all about James’ playoff heroics. That season, the four-time NBA Finals MVP led the Cavs back from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals to earn the franchise’s first-ever title.

James and the Lakers are certainly facing an uphill battle this season since the team isn’t a top seed in the West, but Los Angeles could get key players such as Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent back at some point to help the team’s playoff push.

For now, the Lakers are hoping to hold off the No. 11-seeded Utah Jazz (four games back of Los Angeles) to stay in the play-in tournament field – at the very least.

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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.