Even though LeBron James is having another great season despite being in Year 19, the Los Angeles Lakers have largely struggled to string together wins.
The Lakers have dealt with a variety of issues, and as a result, they are clinging to a Play-In Tournament spot. There has not been much for fans to cheer about, though they finally had something to smile about after James led Los Angeles to a huge win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
The Raptors recently embarrassed the Lakers on their own floor, so James was proud of how the team was able to come together and pull out a thrilling overtime victory.
“We were losers of our last 11 road games and playing one of the hottest teams in the NBA, winners of five in a row, so to be able to come into a very hostile environment and win a basketball game in the way we won it was big for our team. We needed literally every minute, all 53 of them, to accomplish that,” James said after the game.
James added that while it has been difficult to enjoy the 2021-22 season due to all the losing, he has still kept his love and joy for basketball intact. “No because winning is what’s most important to me and what’s always been most important to me. But the one thing I’ve been able to do is keep the joy of the game.
“Like I said on the walk-off, I said I understand that we’re taking a lot of losses this season or whatever the case may be, but the joy of the game and going out there and competing is so damn fun. It’s so fun and obviously the frustration of losing and things of that nature, obviously in the heat of the battle, you feel it that way. But it’s a joy to play the game and it’s a joy to go out there and still play at this level and this point in my career. So I’m still having a blast.”
James has been nothing short of amazing despite L.A.’s inability to win and that may come from his ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable. If the Lakers hope to make any sort of noise, they will need James to continue being at the top of his game.
James praises Westbrook for nailing 3-pointer against Raptors
While James led the Lakers in scoring against the Raptors, it was Russell Westbrook who hit the biggest shot of the night after drilling a 3-pointer to send things into overtime. James outlined what he was thinking as Westbrook rose up for the jumper.
“What was I thinking? To get the best look that we could and Russ got the best look that we could and he drained it. I was actually looking at his feet when he was getting close to the 3-point line and seeing him step on the line and then slide his foot back before he released it, big-time IQ right there on his part and a big-time shot by a big-time player.”
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