Matt Barnes thinks LeBron James will get statue with Lakers but says team needs to ‘worry about getting that Kobe statue up first’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes believes that superstar LeBron James has done enough for the franchise to get a statue in Los Angeles.

However, he believes that the Lakers need to get a Kobe Bryant statue up first.

“They gotta worry about getting that Kobe statue up first,” Barnes told TMZ Sports. “But obviously, LeBron is an all-time great, so I’m sure they’ll find a way to honor him with a statue.”

While James’ career with the Lakers may not measure up to Bryant’s or Magic Johnson’s (to name a couple) in terms of longevity, he has accomplished a lot in his short time with the franchise.

James led the Lakers to an NBA title in the 2019-20 season, which was a tough year for every team in the NBA with the league suspending its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the NBA resumed the 2019-20 campaign in the bubble in Orlando, Fla., James and the Lakers ran through the Western Conference before beating the Miami Heat in the Finals in six games.

This season, James broke the NBA’s all-time scoring record, which was previously held by another Lakers legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Accomplishing such a feat, especially in a Lakers uniform, helps James’ case as one of the most important players in franchise history.

Barnes, who played with Bryant on the Lakers, makes a good point in saying the team should honor him first. A five-time champion with the Lakers, Bryant spent his entire career in Los Angeles.

In the 2022-23 campaign, James is going to need some help from his teammates if the squad wants to make a run in the playoffs. Los Angeles is currently fighting for a play-in tournament spot, but James is out of the lineup with a foot injury.

If he can’t return during the regular season, it will be up to Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell and others to carry the load for the Lakers.

James is having yet another terrific season for Los Angeles despite the injury. The four-time champion is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers have had a ton of amazing players in their history, and there’s no doubt James is among the best. Time will tell if the franchise feels the same way Barnes does and honors James when his career is over.

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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.