During the All-Star break, there was some renewed hope that a recent win over the Utah Jazz would provide a framework for the Los Angeles Lakers to be successful without Anthony Davis. However, despite some good performances from LeBron James, they are 0-3 since returning to play.
Those three losses have dropped L.A. to a whopping seven games below .500, their worst point of the season. Within those games — all three at home — the Lakers have faced booing from the Crypto.com Arena crowd, some directly addressed at Russell Westbrook.
Despite the boos, James has no plans to abandon Lakers fans, and in fact, even understands where they’re coming from.
“Listen, I ride or die with the Laker faithful so if they boo, I’m with them,” James said. “If they scream, I’m with them. That stuff don’t bother me, I’m 20 years into this league, I don’t care about a boo here or boo there, cheers. Whatever they want to do, let’s do it, we’re all together.”
In a viral video after the loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, James was seen talking back to a fan on the sidelines. However, he doesn’t see that as an indicator of a larger issue with fans. “Well if you follow my career, I will get into it with a fan. So that was nothing out of the ordinary for me.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s a home crowd or a crowd on the opposing side. If you’re cheering or booing it’s fine, but the guy was literally trying to tell me how to play basketball. So that’s why you got the response you seen me respond to, that was all that was. You can’t tell me how to play basketball, not him, not that guy. So that was my response.”
James has absolutely seen his fair share of heckling from fans throughout his illustrious 19-year career. At this point, he’s well-equipped to handle just about anything that’s said in his direction.
And while fans have gotten somewhat hostile in recent games, the formula to stop that from happening is very simple. James knows that a small winning streak would quiet much of the noise, the question is if this team is even capable of that right now.
Regardless, James has responded well to the boos of Lakers fans. Now, it’s time to channel that into some on-court success to stop the booing as opposed to ignoring it.
Westbrook super confident in Lakers to make Play-In
Despite the three consecutive losses and the slow fall towards the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference, Westbrook remains supremely confident that the Lakers will at least make the Play-In Tournament.
“Super confident that we’re gonna be alright,” Westbrook stated before going on to explain why.
“Because I have confidence in this group. I always have and we can play the best teams. I’m not worried about nobody we have to play. We’ve beaten the best teams, we lost to some of the worst teams.”
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