LeBron James questions Lakers’ sense of urgency after loss to Pelicans
After their disappointing 128-115 loss to the lottery-bound New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James questioned his team’s sense of urgency at this point in the season with a potential playoff spot hanging in the balance.
“How many know what’s at stake if you’ve never been there?” James asked rhetorically of qualifying for the postseason after the game, via ESPN. “I’m playing devil’s advocate, you know? It’s kind of a fine line when you talk about that, because when you’ve never been there or know what it takes to actually shoot for something like that, sometimes you’re afraid to get uncomfortable.
“So you got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. So I’m not saying that’s what we are as a whole. It kind of looks that way at times, that sometimes we’re afraid to be uncomfortable and kind of get out of our comfort zone and kind of, you know, have that sense of urgency from the jump, and not be afraid to actually go out and fail to succeed. So, I mean we have, what? Twenty-three games left. We’ll see what happens.”
No matter what happens, LeBron and the Lakers will be back in action on Monday night when they travel to Memphis for a showdown with the Grizzlies (8 p.m. ET — Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass add-on), James said that he will never get accustomed to losing.
“The last few years, everyone’s so accustomed to the losses that I’m just not accustomed to,” James said. “I’m not accustomed to it. I will never get comfortable with losing. So, losing Game 1 to Houston [at home], it feels the same way as losing Game 59 in New Orleans to me. It’s just how I’m built. That’s who I am.”
James added that he thinks that injuries have definitely taken their toll on the Lakers this season.
“I knew it was going to be very challenging,” James said. “Just because of the experience the roster had at that point and time. I knew it was going to be challenging from that sense, but I felt like we could still play better basketball. And we were doing that and obviously it sucks that my injury happened and [Lonzo Ball’s] injury happened and so many of our injuries happened… I’m so huge on chemistry and camaraderie, and throughout the course of the season with injuries … [they] have felt like it’s taken a toll on our team. So hopefully we can get Zo back soon to kind of help that out. And hopefully we can start playing a little bit better, too.”
If the Lakers ultimately fail to qualify for the postseason, it will be just the third time in James 16-year career that he wasn’t in the playoffs, and the first time since the 2004-05 season.