Nba, LeBron James: ‘I already won at the Lakers, but I want to do it again’

James closes 2021-22: “The regret is not knowing what we could have been. Now the management will make the decisions to improve the team: my job is to be the leader on the pitch “

LeBron James was not supposed to play. March 27 against New Orleans was his last game of this “frustrating” 2021-22, yet the 37-year-old should have remained on the bench, stopped by the sprained left ankle that will force him to 4-6 weeks off. “But we had to win, staying out was impossible for me”. Instead of winning, James walked out of that match with another injury and the Lakers find themselves having to contend with a failure of epic proportions rather than preparing for the Play-In lifesaver. “We have never been able to understand what we could be as a team: it’s the most frustrating thing this year,” LeBron said in his latest press conference in 2021-22.

lakers

The Lakers season was a disaster. Starting to win, the yellow and purple have not even managed to enter the 10 best teams in the West, despite LeBron on a personal level having played an exceptional season, averaging 30.3 points. “Winning is everything for me – he says -: I played at the level I played, but it wasn’t enough. I was so frustrated because we didn’t understand how to improve the team, because every time we managed to take one step forward, we took three steps backwards. We have been through a lot, from injuries to Covid, which did not allow us to understand what we could be with the full team. We used 41 different starting quintets, practically one every two games: it is impossible to understand something like this “.

future

The first thing LeBron will have to do is recover from the injury. In the meantime, however, he will try to understand what will become of the Lakers. “They didn’t tell me anything about coach Vogel – he says, dismissing the rumors that the coach’s exemption, now taken for granted, would already have taken place -. I don’t want to talk about speculation, I’m just saying that I respect Frank as a coach and as a man. Our partnership here has always been very honest: he is a person who gives everything to the game. I don’t know what will happen, but for him I have only respect ”.

James also distances himself from the choices for the future of the Lakers, starting with the confirmation of Westbrook: “The thing I always like about Westbrook is the competitive spirit he puts on every occasion – he says -. I think I, Russ and AD can still be successful, be dangerous. The reason we weren’t was because we weren’t on the pitch together. We only played in 21 games. It is not up to me to decide whether to confirm this team or change. It is up to the management, I have to make the best decision for the future of the franchise. I will be ready any team we build ”. For now, LeBron also dismisses the hypothesis of a renewal, possible in the summer, of his contract expiring in 2023 which next season will earn him 40 million dollars: “By regulation we can’t talk about it yet, and we haven’t done so” .

reasons

James certainly does not give up the Lakers, even after this sensational failure. “I came here to win a title and we did it – he says, referring to the ring in the bubble he won in October 2020 -. I got what I wanted, but I want more and I’m sure the team wants it too. I want this team to compete at a high level as it has always done in its history. When I signed to come here, I had told Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka that I wanted to bring the title back to the Lakers: we did, but now I want to do it again. I think the management will do whatever it takes to improve the team. But it’s up to them to make decisions, the ones they think are best for the franchise. My job is to make sure I’m ready when the season starts to lead the team, the one that the front office will assemble ”.

James also talks about his motivations, about how he managed to be instrumental in the NBA season 19 like no one before. “Playing at this level is a matter of spirit and motivation. Now I will be with my children, I will watch them play and this has always motivated me in recent years. I don’t know how much more I will play, I better not say it also because my wife might disagree. But I’m sure I can still play at this level ”. That’s what the Lakers need, LeBron at a high level to get back to winning. The restart point after this sensational failure is still him.

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