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LeBron James has officially been shut down for the remainder of the 2022 season, and now he’s telling everyone how awesome Russell Westbrook is. He even suggested he’s not the GM, which couldn’t be any funnier. Watch:
"I'm not going to sit here and make decisions for the front office … but I love being a teammate with Russ."
LeBron shows Russ love in his exit interview
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 11, 2022
“One thing about Russ that I love and always will love is his competitive spirit and what he brings to the game every night,” James said. “To have a guy that’s reliable that’ll put on the uniform every single night…that’s something I respect. I’m not going to sit here and make decisions for the front office but I love being teammates with Russ.”
Let’s try and break this narrative down. As the season progressed, the Lakers almost signed a deal for either DeMar Derozen or Buddy Hield, but they eventually called it off for Russell Westbrook, thanks to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Then Davis went down to injury, as usual, and Westbrook did little except make trading him difficult.
LeBron reportedly supported a deal that would send Westbrook out of town, but now suddenly James is Russ’ hype man? Perhaps LeBron realizes it’s best to pretend he doesn’t have full control of this dismal roster because there’s no saving it. Let’s be honest, LeBron knows the Lakers have to blow up their roster if they want a chance at another championship, so he wants to look like the good guy before all that goes down.
Westbrook is expected to be dealt this offseason, however the only realistic opportunity the Lakers have for drastic improvement is to deal Anthony Davis as well. If the team were to dump Davis, it’s likely in James’ best interest to play dumb and let GM Rob Pelinka be the mastermind of the deal. This is why I believe LeBron is pretending he’s some soldier waiting on his general to lead the charge.
The Lakers couldn’t shoot this year because they took every complementary piece around James and Davis during their 2020 title run and traded them for Russell Westbrook. That was LeBron’s call, and he’s not owning up to it. Pretty ridiculous.