Time For King James To Fall On The Sword

LeBron James has become adept at avoiding blame and throwing his teammates under the bus.

LeBron James has been here before. Trying to develop chemistry with new parts. From that first Finals loss with Miami to losing Kyrie and the overhaul in Cleveland and his many complaints about his supporting cast over the years.    

Coming out of the All-Star break, LeBron said that he’s ramping it up and going into “playoff mode.”

After the Lakers fell to 29-30 with a 128-115 loss on Saturday to the host New Orleans Pelicans, who were balling without disgruntled big man Anthony Davis, LeBron kind of lost it.

After the game, James noted how the team needs to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable”


“The last few years, everyone’s so accustomed to the losses that I’m just not accustomed to. I’m not accustomed to it, I’d never get comfortable with losing. Losing game one to Houston, it feels the same way as losing game 59 in New Orleans, for me. That’s just how I’m built. That’s who I am. …

It wasn’t just about the loss. A few weeks ago, LeBron thought he and Rich Paul were about to pull off a grand heist and facilitate a forced trade of AD to the Lakers.

That deal fell through miserably — even after Magic Johnson offered the entire team. Once the Pelicans decided to play hard ball, the fact that the Lakers organization was willing to unload the entire squad for AD has become a point of contention for everyone involved.


For LeBron to expect these guys to play at an elite level and buy into his leadership after he tried to cast all of them away is silly. It’s a media-driven narrative that says LeBron James can do no wrong. With the NBA watching the Lakers’ every move, LeBron realizes he is stuck with this team and he has no way out other than disassociating himself with the kingdom he rules. 

If I’m on the Lakers, I have the full understanding that it’s just business but at the same time I’m not creating any bonds with LeBron. I’m balling with an understanding that I’m not wanted here. Therefore, I have to make sure I don’t get hurt. Asking me to put my heart into each game and go all out when I’m a phone call away from being traded is almost disrespectful.

Why should any of the Lakers’ young gunners ride with Bron? He doesn’t want any of them!

Failing to acquire Anthony Davis opened up a can of worms within the Lakers organization that can’t be contained. LeBron will continue to be upset and say he needs more help and criticize the culture and the players — anything to relieve himself from the blame of losing. He’s very protective of his legacy.  

Bron may be right about the fact that he’s not used to losing. But I thought his job was to teach the young, talented guys how to win. Isn’t that how he’s branded? Didn’t we anoint him King of the NBA stratosphere and the guy everybody wanted to play with?

Right now, he’s like a desperate NBA mob boss, orchestrating hits within his own organization because he feels the walls are closing in.

Bron shouldn’t feel like that.

His legacy is secure. He’s not chasing anyone. One more championship is not going to change the fact that he’s an all-time great who has accomplished plenty on and off the court.

Bron changed as a player once he took Kyrie under his wing and Irving bit his hand. The narrative became about this burden Bron had to carry and how superior he was to his weak ass teammates. 

It’s time for Bron to take some responsibility for this young Lakers team. Less public lectures. Less dramatics when a teammate doesn’t play to his level of greatness. 


How about a commitment to teaching and leading again. At least until the summer when some of the young Lakers will undoubtedly be moving on.  LeBron is just as responsible for this mess as anybody. Therefore, The King needs to clean it up.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.