Compared to previous free agency decisions when LeBron James ended up on a team with at least one other established superstar, his recent move to the Los Angeles Lakers is expected to be different. Aside from the fact that the returning core players from last season’s 35-47 Lakers are all 25-years-old or younger, James will also be teaming with several newly acquired veterans, including some who have developed colorful reputations behind the scenes. This, according to Uproxx, could make for a stressful season for “King” James, as multiple players might end up “driving him crazy” with their antics on and off the court.
While most of the players on Uproxx’s list were newly signed veterans with well-documented histories of alleged off-court shenanigans, the publication collectively ranked incoming second-year players Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Kyle Kuzma at third place, placing them ahead of forward Michael Beasley and point guard Rajon Rondo. Uproxx warned about the young trio’s tendency to roast each other on social media, a habit that might not sit well with James as he strives to keep things professional in the locker room.
“Most of it is all in good fun, but it also went way over the line when they started dropping dis tracks about one another, one of which was wildly insensitive in mocking Kuzma’s single-parent upbringing. Hart has already tested the waters by joking about LeBron’s shorts looking like a skirt in the Lakers’ [Instagram] comments.”
Considering the controversial moment when he blew into LeBron James’ ear during the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat’s 2014 Eastern Conference Finals matchup, former Pacers guard Lance Stephenson was ranked second by Uproxx, which noted that James and Stephenson becoming teammates is not unique as an example of “former foes” teaming up to set toward achieving a common goal. However, the publication cautioned that friction might develop between both men, assuming the “volatile” Stephenson gets on LeBron’s bad side.
While Uproxx’s choice of player most likely to annoy LeBron James in the 2018-19 season might not be surprising for those who are familiar with his on-court bloopers and other antics on the Inside the NBA segment Shaqtin’ a Fool, the website stressed that center JaVale McGee has toned things down in recent years, especially in the light of his contributions in the 2018 NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors. But with McGee now competing for a starting job on the Lakers, Uproxx speculated that he just might return to his old ways in Los Angeles.
“We honestly just miss the JaVale McGee who disastrously tried to lead fast breaks, who goal-tended opponents’ shots into the stands like a volleyball player, who tried to showboat with his team trailing by 25 points. We want just a little taste of that JaVale again, for old time’s sake. And we wanna watch how it makes LeBron seethe and squirm.”
Although Uproxx’s list tried to keep things as lighthearted as possible, the reality of playing alongside a superstar like LeBron James might not take long to hit home for his new Lakers teammates, according to Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Frye warned that the Lakers, especially the team’s younger players, could be in for a “reality check” as they team with someone with little tolerance for mistakes and get greater attention from the media amid higher expectations in the 2018-19 NBA season.