Stephen A. Smith might be getting a call from King James at some point this week. Just 15 games into the NBA season, with LeBron James on the mend from an abdominal injury that his kept him out of the lineup for most of the season, ESPN’s highest-paid talking head says the Lakers are already finished. That wasn’t the most jarring prediction.
Smith shifted from a segment about Odell Beckham and said, “I think LeBron has won his last title. I think it’s over.”
The Lakers got thumped by the surging Chicago Bulls 121-103 on Monday night. Chi-Town was led by its “Big Three” consisting of MVP candidate DeMar DeRozan (38 points), Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine.
Co-host Keyshawn Johnson tried to give Stephen A an opportunity to rethink his statement considering we’re just 15 games into the NBA season, but Stephen A doubled down on it with the certainty of a man who already knows the winning Powerball numbers before he even goes to the bodega to order the tickets.
Stephen A then switched back into the football flow and said OBJ (who had just two catches in his L.A. Rams debut) has a better chance of winning a Super Bowl than LeBron and the Lakers have of winning an NBA title.
Smith says he feels that LeBron will come back as great as ever, but the Lakers still won’t have enough to defeat the rising Golden State Warriors, who are 11-2 and leading the Western Conference.
Despite LeBron’s absence, the Lakers are 8-7 — seventh in the Eastern Conference — with AD, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony leading the way. It hasn’t been a total disaster in Los Angeles and there are still 67 games to go. There’s still a large contingent of sports fans and media who expect the Lakers to right the ship, develop a winning chemistry and challenge for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
“It ain’t going to be enough,” Smith said after proclaiming, “I think the Golden State Warriors are going to take them out.”
Johnson dismissed the talk as hyperbole. Stephen A delivering a classic prisoner of the moment take that will probably “end up as a meme,” Johnson said, right up there with Smith’s all-time worst takes.
Smith totally dismissed LeBron and basically said King James will never win another basketball joust again. A hot take for Smith. More motivation for LeBron and the Lakers once James returns to the court.