LeBron James might be a full-fledged Laker, but he still has some learning to do when understanding the way Los Angelenos think. “The King” suited up to play in the legendary summer street ball tournament, The Drew League, and posted a picture with Drew League teammate DeMar DeRozan.
Since DeRozan at one time was a potential choice for the Los Angeles Lakers that was passed over for Russell Westbrook, the internet let James have it.
James has had a stellar Drew League performance and, in his celebratory stride, wanted to show love to Chicago Bulls player and Los Angeles native DeMar DeRozan on social media. He posted a picture of the two on the Drew League court standing side by side with the caption, “My dog Debo!!! @DeMar_DeRozan” with a black fist, indicating he is a solid guy to James.
However, fans quickly reminded James of a crucial decision back in 2021 that delivered the Lakers Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards while forsaking DeMar DeRozan, who went to the Chicago Bulls.
Last summer, when DeRozan was a free agent, he said he wanted to come home to Los Angles and be a Laker, which he even told LeBron James. However, James played GM and pushed for Westbrook, which led DeRozan to head to Chicago. However, if you ask Magic Johnson, DeRozan was the better choice, and he, along with the Lakers faithful, are laying last year’s disappointing season at James’ feet.
“When I think about it, the blame that he’s gotta take is the fact that DeRozan ended up in Chicago and not with the Lakers,” Johnson said on an episode of “Get Up” back in April. “DeRozan wanted to play for the Lakers, and when I got the call from his agent, I called the Lakers, said, ‘Hey, he wants to come home.’ And DeRozan could have been a Laker instead of a Bull.
“We could have made that deal, but when Russell and LeBron and them started talking, that’s when they nixed that deal and went with Westbrook, and he became a Laker instead of DeRozan.”
While the internet reminded James of his fateful decision, he scored 42 points in a triumphant return to the Drew League. On Saturday, he and DeRozan teamed up for a 104-102 win in the famed pro-am basketball league.
Imagine you passed up on this to go get Russell Westbrook 🌚 https://t.co/vMXk9pEbKp
— Born fighter ✊🏽🇧🇧🇻🇨 (@falcon_on_noss) July 17, 2022
The Drew League game was a reminder of what could’ve been for the purple and gold. James missed seven of the Lakers’ final eight regular-season games due to a left ankle sprain in one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.
However, his return to the court in the Drew League with DeRozan as his teammate saw him finish with 42 points on 18-for-36 shooting, 16 rebounds, four steals, and three assists. DeRozan reportedly invited James to play on his team and scored 30 points on 9-for-23 shooting with 14 rebounds.
James and DeRozan’s team, called the MMV Cheaters, could have been the Los Angeles Lakers, and now there is a recent reminder of the perceived blunder. With a new season coming, James can only hope to erase that memory or make moves that satisfy the winning ways of L.A.’s favorite team.