Since president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s resignation, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have stayed extremely quiet.
As James has not spoken to the media, he reportedly was ‘stunned’ by the announcement but still ‘stands behind’ owner Jeanie Buss and the organization.
With the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs coming to a close, his silence has naturally created some speculation.
After Dave McMenamin of ESPN thought James’ trust in the Lakers ‘has been damaged,’ the 34-year-old quickly denied the report while working out at the team’s practice facility, via Instagram:
“That. Is. Not. True. It’s not true at all. I’m actually at the Lakers facility right now (laughs).”
With James missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 NBA season, it is difficult not to wonder how he feels about the situation. Considering all that has gone on since Year 1 ended against the Portland Trail Blazers, it is encouraging that he addressed the report.
Although the Lakers missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season due to injuries, it does allow James two extra months to prepare for his 17th NBA season. However, the main question will be if the Lakers can sign or trade for a second All-Star player alongside him.
As James and the Lakers can significantly improve the roster for the 2019-20 season, it will be up to Buss to stabilize the organization. While Buss reportedly has ‘no plans’ to hire a new president of basketball operations, they are currently conducting a coaching search where all candidates have relationships with James.