LeBron James makes groundbreaking history amidst Lakers’ struggles

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LeBron James makes groundbreaking history amidst Lakers’ struggles

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks down the court during a game.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks down the court during a game.

wikipedia.com

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks down the court during a game.

wikipedia.com

wikipedia.com

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers looks down the court during a game.

Tylin Jarrett

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Ever since the 4-year/$154 million deal was made for LeBron James to come to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers, the hype and talk around this new-look team has been tremendous. The real, underlying question, however, was: How will this team fare in the tough Western Conference that LeBron has never been a part of before?

Now more than halfway through the season, the young Lakers hold a current record of 30-35, standing 11th in the West.

I’m sure that many are currently thinking, “Man, how are the Lakers out of the playoffs if they have the best player in the world on their team?” Well, that’s where some explanation is needed.

This season, the Lakers were rolling up until December 25, 2018. That was the day that the entire mood of the season changed and shifted for Laker fans. On this day, the Lakers played an away game against the Golden State Warriors (who are defending champions of the NBA with four All-Stars.) Surprisingly, the Lakers were doing very well, knocking down threes and moving the ball exquisitely. They were beating the best team in the league by a score of 71-57, and then LeBron James came down with an unfortunate right groin injury. The Lakers, however, managed to still come out victorious, with the final score being 127-101 in favor of the young team from Los Angeles.

Although after this game the Lakers held a record of 20-14, James was diagnosed with a strained left groin and was out until Feb. 5. This left the young Lakers without their best player for the next 5-6 weeks and as many could imagine, they didn’t do too well in that period of time. When James returned to the lineup, the Lakers had dropped to 27-26 and later that night dropped to 27-27 in a loss to the Indiana Pacers.

After later losing to the Atlanta Hawks on Feb. 12, James was asked about the Lakers’ recent struggles, he responded with: “We gotta be a lot better… Some of these guys never played in a playoff game before, so you can’t teach them that [sense of urgency], but it’s very important to understand how important every game is.”

The trade deadline certainly did not help the young Lakers at the time, as well. Amidst all of the trade talk that went around the league, the Lakers were heavily targeting Anthony Davis, a superstar who plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. He was not happy with being on the team and requested a trade. The Lakers then saw an opportunity to gain yet another superstar, and in the process of pursuing him, offered the Pelicans six young core players, including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma.

 Even though the trade never went through, the chemistry of the team took a big hit.

Although the Lakers as a whole are in the midst of finding their own identity, James just recently achieved a legendary milestone. He passed Michael Jordan’s record of 32,292 total points on March 6 in a losing effort against the Denver Nuggets, moving into fourth place on the National Basketball Association’s all-time scoring list with 32,311 career points, and pushing Jordan back to fifth.

The Lakers still have a bright future ahead of them, plus LeBron is guaranteed to be signed with the Lakers for the next 3 seasons to come. This young core showed fight the other night against the Nuggets, and are looking to improve and get better with every game in this long 82-game season.

 

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