Kent Bazemore Rejects Notion That LeBron James Is To Blame For Lakers’ Poor Season
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

No one can deny the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers mishandled and misdirected a talented roster all the way from champs to chumps.

While the fans, franchise and players all point fingers as to who they feel is responsible for the state of the team, Kent Bazemore has granted absolution to one fellow teammate, and he has the stats to back it up.

When asked by TMZ how he feels about people “finger-pointing” the blame at LeBron James, Bazemore responded with a list of reasons why he disagrees with the notion:

“Dude was third in the league in scoring. I mean what else do you want him to do? He put his body through a lot this year to be there for us. The dude has done a lot, I mean he’s chasing Kareem. He’s done a lot for the game. He’s given a platform to a lot of people. He’s changing the world. So for him, it’s bigger than hoop. For us, it’s bigger than hoop. We aren’t just basketball players at the end of the day. So we get up, we work hard, we try to do the best we can, and that’s all we can do.”

With 10 years in the NBA under his belt, Bazemore undoubtedly has a deeper understanding of the work James has put in during his time with the Lakers. He also has a deeper appreciation for James’ accomplishments outside of records, but he makes sure to point out James’ basketball accolades anyway, including his No. 2 spot on the all-time scoring list.

Each season brings a plethora of records broken by James, and his legacy in the league will continue even if he’s won his last championship. Unfortunately, many Lakers fans are more concerned with the reputation of their team rather than the player leading it.

Given the fact that James’ contract is over in a year, and he’s talked about both returning to Cleveland and playing with a number of other players, it’s wise to prioritize the state of the franchise.

Bazemore also brought the focus back to the team, insisting that they find out where the mistakes occurred to prevent them in the future.

“It wasn’t a year that anyone wanted. Everybody on the team wanted to win. We all came into it with the mindset to win. But it takes a lot to win in the league. So I mean at the end of the day you just see what went wrong and just try to keep improving. It’s not the last game the franchise is ever gonna play, so you get the team together and we get back after it again.”

While Bazemore and the rest of the players can focus on improving their own game, the front office is still scrambling to find a coach to lead the team.

The Lakers front office is searching far and wide for their new head coach, but they needn’t look past the swaying palm trees surrounding the Crypto.com Arena.

As interviews commenced throughout the week, Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy made sure to state his desire to be a head coach in the NBA. He went on to explain that his ideal coaching job would be for a playoff-contending team and shared his desire to develop more younger players.

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