Recruiting Teams LeBron James often do not tolerate mediocrity. Two of his last four Cleveland Cavaliers teams drastically reworked themselves mid-season and a different coach changed. His first season in Los Angeles was made possible in part because his main office was not secure Anthony Davis before the transaction deadline. Patience tends to be absent from his vocabulary.
On paper, that suggests that 2021-22 Los Angeles Lakers We prepare for a shake. The pre-season Western Conference favorites are just 12-12 to 24 games despite one of the easiest opening schedules in basketball. They struggled at both ends of the floor and the injury didn’t help. The longer this goes on, the more fans will clamor for the variety of changes James’ teams have gone through time and time again. LeBron won’t be the one calling for them. He defended the squad in practice Monday and argued that, more than anything, what the Lakers need is time together on the field.
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“I can’t say, ‘Okay, when do we need to change?’ I don’t think we even need to do that,” James said. “I love every guy in this dressing room. I believe in what we can do when we have enough reps and enough minutes to log. We’ve got people coming in and out, especially. I can’t even say how I feel at this point because I’m in the half-match squad so I love what Rob [Pelinka] and Coach [Frank Vogel] and the front office did to assemble this team. We look forward to our journey ahead. “
If the roster isn’t to blame, the next scapegoat on the list will likely be head coach Frank Vogel. He has struggled to adjust to a lineup without the attacking defenders that made his last two Lakers formations very dangerous, but James also won’t throw him under the bus.
“I think criticism comes with work, you know?” James said. “Frank is a lad with a strong mindset. He has a great coaching staff. And we as his players have to do a better job of being on the pitch and producing on the court. We’re a team and an organization that don’t mind some Adversity, obviously don’t mind people saying things about us, because it comes with territory.”
Regardless of whether change of any kind proves necessary or not, pulling the trigger will be difficult. The Lakers, deeply taxed on luxury, probably wouldn’t be too keen to fire Vogel and pay a top dollar for a second coach to fix the team. Transactions are even more complicated because of limits. The Lakers will struggle to balance pay with any meaningful upgrade because Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn are the only players on the list who do not receive minimum or maximum wages. Even if James wanted changes, they wouldn’t be easy to make. He also makes a bit of a profit by lobbying them publicly. The current team wouldn’t be able to turn the tide without his confidence.
But that confidence only goes so far. The Lakers haven’t made any positive changes yet, but we’re only 24 games into the season. If things don’t improve at 44 games, perhaps something will change. The championship window is small under the best of circumstances. James is about to turn 37. This team will do what it takes to put a championship-caliber squad around him whether he likes it or not.
https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/lebron-james-denies-need-for-lakers-roster-overhaul-coaching-change-i-love-every-guy-in-this-locker-room/ LeBron James denies need for Lakers roster overhaul, coach change: ‘I love every guy’ in this locker room