There’s drama, and then there’s drama with LeBron James on the Lakers.
There’s rumors, and then there’s this: Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher states a team source says Lakers owner Jeanie Buss contemplated trading LeBron James to terminate the team’s relationship with agent Rich Paul because of mishandling of trade talks with the Pelicans and Anthony Davis.
This comes less than a week after ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy suggested the Lakers should trade James. In Bucher’s piece, however, his source told him the idea was on Buss’ mind weeks before Van Gundy said the team should explore the move while broadcasting a Celtics-Lakers game.
Let’s take a step back. The Lakers’ season has been a disaster this year. That’s certainly true. LeBron has had his faults and distractions to start his Lakers tenure. Also true. While both statements ring true, what’s most clear is the team is not going to trade LeBron James.
The Lakers go into Thursday as the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference with a 31-36 record. When they signed LeBron this past offseason, their sights were set on taking down the Warriors and hanging another championship banner in the Staples Center. Now, there’s virtually no shot of them even making the playoffs.
But nobody envisioned a 34-year-old James to finally go down to a tough injury. Or half of the Lakers roster to miss significant time. The Lakers haven’t just been bitten by an injury bug, but chewed, swallowed and spit out by a Black Bear.
When James suffered a groin injury on Christmas Day in the Lakers’ 127-101 win over the Warriors, Los Angeles was the No. 6 seed in the West with a 20-14 record. LeBron then missed 17 games, with the Lakers going 6-11.
The Lakers’ season spiraled in James’ absence and they never recovered. You don’t trade one of the greatest players of all time because of a tough start, and you definitely don’t to be petty. Well, actually that happens all too often, but it won’t be happening in Hollywood.
Once again though, there’s drama, and then there’s LeBron on the Lakers.