Stephen A. Smith says the Lakers are 'on the verge of being irrelevant' - Lakers Daily

Stephen A. Smith says the Lakers are ‘on the verge of being irrelevant’

LeBron James and Stephen A. Smith

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks the Los Angeles Lakers should fear some of the top teams in the Western Conference. He also believes L.A. is “on the verge of being irrelevant.”

The anchor offered his stance on L.A.’s situation during a recent episode of “First Take.”

“Want me to tell you where fear is applicable?” Smith said. “Fear is applicable when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers. They’re the ones who should fear the [Phoenix] Suns. They’re the ones who should fear the [Golden State] Warriors because the Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of putting an emphatic exclamation point to the era of LeBron James. There is no such thing as the LeBron James era if you ain’t in the Finals. … It ain’t LeBron James’ fault. When that brother healthy, we know what he brings to the table, but because of the rest of the team, the Lakers are on the verge of being irrelevant in the championship equation.”

The Lakers’ struggles in the early stages of the 2021-22 season have certainly been frustrating for a lot of folks, but most L.A. fans aren’t ready to throw in the towel yet.

James’ health is likely going to be a major key the rest of the way. The 17-time All-Star has had a very tough time staying on the floor this season, as he has appeared in just 11 games. The Lakers are a different team when he’s sidelined.

If the members of L.A.’s Big 3 can stay healthy and figure out a way to play effectively alongside each other, then the Lakers might have a chance to get back into the title conversation.