Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James didn’t mince words after his team’s 127-113 home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. It was the fourth straight defeat and ninth in the last 11 games for the Lakers, who dropped out of play-in position in the Western Conference standings.
James, who put up 32 points, seven assists, five rebounds and five steals in Friday’s loss, was asked whether he thinks his team can recapture the success and intensity of their In-Season Tournament championship run. The 39-year-old was blunt with his reply.
“I mean, that was just two games. Small sample,” James said after Friday’s loss to Memphis. “Everybody’s getting so cranked up about Vegas and keep bringing up Vegas. It was two games. We took care of that business that was the In-Season Tournament. We played. We won it. But that was literally just two games.
“I’m not thinking that far into the past, to be honest. We just suck right now.”
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham brushed off the team’s recent underwhelming performance after the game, saying that he’s “tired of people living and dying” with every result.
As of Friday night, the Lakers had the 23rd-ranked offense in the NBA, scoring 111.8 points per 100 possessions. Meanwhile the defense, which was fourth in the league after the All-Star break last season, has slipped to 12th.
It’s easy to see why James would be frustrated considering both he and Anthony Davis have been relatively healthy and playing at an All-NBA level all season long. Ham has tweaked the starting lineup several times, most notably sending Austin Reaves to the bench early in the season.
In his 21st season, James is averaging 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists on 40% 3-point shooting, his highest mark in a decade. Asked how he can help remedy the Lakers’ woes, James said it’s just business as usual.
“I show up to work, punch my clock every day, stay positive,” James said on Friday night. “Go out and try to lead out on the floor, inspire on the floor. That’s what I do.”