NBA star LeBron James has suffered an epic blow after his handpicked Los Angeles Lakers team failed to make the playoffs.
Since preseason title favorites were first announced before the 1984-85 NBA season, the top two teams have never failed to make the playoffs.
LeBron James just made the wrong kind of history as the Lakers (no. 2 favorites) just got eliminated from the playoff becoming the first favored team to do so.
The Lakers implosion is one for the ages and LeBron, at least according to Magic Johnson deserves the blame.
Because he picked this team and his guys flopped, while the guys the management wanted are having career years.
“Extremely disappointed,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
“Disappointed for our fan base.
“Disappointed for the Buss family, who gave us all this opportunity and we want to play our part in bringing success to Laker basketball and we fell short.”
“We just didn’t get it done,” said Carmelo Anthony.
“We had the tools,” he added.
“Some things were out of our control — some things we could control, some things we couldn’t.
“And it’s nothing else more than we didn’t get it done.
:You can’t make no excuses about it. We just didn’t get it done.”
.@MagicJohnson says the Lakers could’ve had DeRozan, Hield and Caruso instead of Westbrook 👀
“If you sign DeRozan, you only trade Kuzma for Buddy Hield, we would be playing in the Western Conference championship this year with those two guys.” pic.twitter.com/hZ7DdPhWu1
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 4, 2022
Anthony Davis said:
“Our goal was to win a championship. Feel like we had the pieces, but injuries got in the way of that. And that was the difference in the season.
“I think even though we lost games where all of us was on the floor — me, Bron, Russ — I think we’re three great players, but we would have figured it out if we logged more minutes together.
“But we weren’t able to do that, which makes it tough to be able to compete for a championship when your three best players haven’t logged enough minutes together.”
But it was Magic Johnson who made clear LeBron’s ego did the team in.
Magic said the Lakers could’ve had possible league MVP DeMar DeRozan, Buddy Hield and Alex Caruso instead of Brian Westbrook. But LeBron wanted Westbrook.
Magic said: “If you sign DeRozan, you only trade Kuzma for Buddy Hield, we would be playing in the Western Conference championship this year with those two guys.”
Lakers officially out of playoff contention? pic.twitter.com/rVwGyp1121
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 6, 2022
Since preseason title favorites were first announced before the 1984-85 season, the top two teams have never failed to make the playoffs.
The Lakers (no. 2 favorites) are the first team to do so. pic.twitter.com/UeEDn0haHs
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 6, 2022
During an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, Magic Johnson was asked what was a fair criticism of LeBron James in regards to the Lakers’ disappointing season.
Surprisingly, Johnson said James is to blame for Los Angeles not landing DeMar DeRozan in free agency.
“The blame that he’s gotta take is the fact that DeRozan ended up in Chicago and not with the Lakers,” he said.
Johnson, who previously served as Lakers president of basketball operations, said that DeRozan’s agent called him to let him know that DeRozan wanted to join the Lakers this past offseason. Johnson then told Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.
But instead of going with DeRozan in free agency, the team traded for Russell Westbrook, who was signed to the Wizards at the time.
This is where the blame comes on James, Johnson said.
James recruited Westbrook and the two were engaged in private conversations to coordinate the union, according to Johnson, and as a result DeRozan joined the Bulls, where he’s having the best year of his career.