It seems like nothing is going right these days for the Los Angeles Lakers. In addition to the team’s abysmal record of 27-31, rumors are spreading that LeBron James could end up leaving the franchise sometime soon.
It also seems like there are some issues between Rob Pelinka and Klutch Sports Group, the agency that is associated with James.
The Lakers and Pelinka are reportedly shocked by James’ recent comments about a possible return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It seems as if the two sides are in the “early days of a war.”
“This has to all come as a shock to the Lakers and especially their vice president of basketball operations, Rob Pelinka, who has repeatedly yielded to James and the appropriately-named Klutch Sports Group that represents him,” wrote The Athletic’s Bill Oram.
“Because James and agent Rich Paul long grabbed hold of the Lakers organization and are now beginning to really squeeze.
“The situation is tense enough that one source close to the Lakers likened it to the early days of a war.
“So far, the Lakers haven’t shown a particular willingness to engage in battle with their superstar, with sources saying that Pelinka has insisted internally that there are no hard feelings between the two sides.”
It was recently reported that Klutch was not happy with Pelinka due to his unwillingness to deal Russell Westbrook and a future first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for John Wall, who’s a Klutch client.
Rich Paul, the CEO and founder of Klutch, later refuted those reports emphatically.
In recent weeks, it has become apparent that something is not right between James and the Lakers brass. It was reported recently that James and Lakers big man Anthony Davis were not consulted before the trade deadline by Pelinka, who had said that he had been in constant contact with the two superstars about the Lakers’ inaction.
There are many distractions surrounding the Lakers as they get set to resume their season. The team currently sits in ninth place in the Western Conference.
If the regular season ended today, the Lakers would find themselves in the play-in tournament for the second consecutive season. L.A. would surely love to avoid that scenario and claim one of the West’s top six seeds.
L.A’s first game after the All-Star break will be on Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers, who are directly above the Lakers in the standings.