The arrival of LeBron James in the recent free agency made most people believe that the Los Angeles Lakers would finally end their playoff drought in the 2018-19 NBA season. Everything seemed to be fine in the first half of the season where the Lakers reached as high as the No. 4 seed in deep Western Conference. However, things started to fall apart in the second half of the season when James and some of their key players suffered injuries and they failed to acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans before the February NBA trade deadline.
As of now, the Lakers are set to miss the Western Conference Playoffs for the sixth consecutive year and LeBron James’ first time since 2005. Despite James’ disastrous first season wearing the Purple and Gold, Cleveland Cavaliers veteran center Channing Frye said in a recent interview with Chris Fedor of Cleveland Plain Dealer that he doesn’t feel bad at all for his former teammate. Frye advised James that if he wants to reach the postseason, he needs to “go win some more games.”
“If we’re not making the playoffs I don’t give a s— what happens elsewhere. How do you think it sits with us? Of course, it sucks. Well, guess what (Los Angeles)? Next time go win some more games. I don’t feel bad for him. I’m not like, ‘Oh, poor Bron. He’s not making the playoffs.’ I’m the kid that takes his ball home when he loses. That’s what it is. You ask me about anybody else. Phoenix? Bye. Us? Bye. New York? Bye. It’s alright. Bron will be alright. Longer summer. Work on your game.”
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) March 11, 2019
Before he signed with the Lakers, LeBron James definitely knew that the competition in the Western Conference is on a different level than the Eastern Conference in which he ruled for eight consecutive seasons. Also, after playing alongside other NBA superstars like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving in his stints with the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, James is currently the only superstar in Los Angeles.
The Lakers have young and promising talents in Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, but their lack of experience was easily exposed in some of their games. The Lakers also don’t have enough floor spacers as they decided to prioritize playmakers over reliable three-point shooters in the last free agency.
Channing Frye’s advice is plain and simple, but LeBron James also needs help from Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka to change the narrative in the 2019-20 NBA season. In order to avoid suffering another disappointing season, James must hope that the Lakers will make the right move and succeed to add superstars next summer. The Lakers have enough salary cap space to chase the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker in free agency, and a plethora of trade assets to acquire a superstar who will be available on the trade market.