One day after it was suggested that LeBron James might not trust the Los Angeles Lakers as much as he did when he signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the team last July, the four-time MVP took to social media to deny the rumors. He reaffirmed his commitment to the team as they prepare to continue their rebuilding process this summer.
As reported by Sporting News, James’ Instagram Story on Wednesday featured him working out while watching ESPN’s First Take, then reacting to the aforementioned rumor as it appeared onscreen.
“That. Is. Not. True,” James was quoted as saying. “It’s not true at all. I’m actually at the Lakers facility right now.”
In the aftermath of a 2018-19 campaign where they missed the playoffs with a 37-45 record, recent weeks have seen the Los Angeles Lakers go through multiple organizational changes — starting with Magic Johnson’s decision to resign from his position as president of basketball operations. As reported earlier on Thursday by The Inquisitr, Bleacher Report‘s Ric Bucher appeared this week on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, where he suggested that Johnson chose to step down after he saw the email exchanges between Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka that negatively criticized his performance.
On the same week that Johnson stepped down as team president, head coach Luke Walton was dismissed by the Lakers — though he didn’t stay unemployed for long, as the Sacramento Kings hired him as their new coach one day later. As noted by Sporting News, the Lakers have interviewed several candidates to replace Walton as the team’s coach, including Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd, and Monty Williams.
LeBron denies Lakers must repair relationship with him https://t.co/AAyMesYN57
— MSN (@MSN) April 25, 2019
According to USA Today‘s LeBron Wire, James’ Instagram Story was a reaction to a report from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, who, in a radio appearance on Tuesday, suggested that the superstar forward’s trust in the Lakers had been “damaged” due to how the team had handled the changes that took place in recent weeks. Aside from Johnson’s surprise departure, LeBron Wire suggested that James may have also been upset by the fact that he missed the playoffs for the first time since his sophomore NBA season 14 years ago — as well as by the Lakers’ current situation, as they continue to search for a new head coach.
“Right now it’s a tough bridge that has fallen that’s going to need to be put back together,” McMenamin added. “Whoever’s involved there’s going to have to be an initial thing proven with the coach and free agency.”