It would be an understatement to say that the Los Angeles Lakers fanbase has had little to cheer about during the 2021-22 season given the team’s underwhelming year up to this point.
Touted as championship contenders prior to the start of the regular season, the Lakers face a more harsh reality as they try to cling to the final spot in the Play-In Tournament. The issues are too vast to be attributed to one thing, and the organization is in dire need of a reset come the offseason.
One of the only positive things to say about the season is the play of LeBron James who, in Year 19, continues to prove that he remains in the conversation for best player in the NBA. In Los Angeles’ win against the Washington Wizards on Friday night, James exploded for 50 points in what was a dazzling performance of offensive brilliancy.
While James led the way, several other Laker players stepped up during the night and the superstar noted that was the best part of the victory.
“It felt good because it was an all-around team effort. Washington played extremely well, especially those first two quarters. For us to be able to come in in the third quarter, that’s been one of our down quarters a lot this year, held them to 23 points in that third and run off 37. It was big for our team, big for our ball club.”
Fans who have watched the Lakers play in recent weeks have been understandably disappointed with the on-court product, so James took it upon himself to make sure they were left satisfied this time around.
“They’ve been great. The Laker faithful know when bad basketball is being played, they know when good basketball is being played. They have the right to have any response they want. At the end of the day, they’ve seen so many great teams, so many great individuals, so many great individual performances, so many things in this building over the course of this franchise history.
“For me, being a part of this franchise, I feel like I just try to give them an opportunity to have some of those memorable nights as well. Try to give them something to cheer for, give them something to feel good about on a nightly basis. I know it hasn’t been as great as they want it to be this year, but you take the small wins when they come for sure.”
The last comment might raise some eyebrows after Russell Westbrook detailed the hate he and his family have had to endure due to his poor play. Lakers fans are unrelenting when the team is struggling, and Westbrook has been a popular scapegoat when parsing over why L.A. has not won like many expected them to do.
However, the more important thing is James and the Lakers got a much-needed win to keep them afloat in the playoff race. Fans have been begging to see some success, but it might be short-lived because the Purple and Gold get a tough road date against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
James discussed what has gone into recent scoring streak
James has been scoring at a high level all season, but especially the last two games at Crypto.com Arena scoring 50 or more in both. He discussed what has gone into those performances.
“I don’t know, I just feel really good,” James said. “[I] continue to put in the work every day. Even off days, I’m always thinking about the game, watching the game, you guys see me tweet yesterday, I was watching the Nets-Sixers game and so many other games. Just keeping the main thing, the main thing and that’s this season. Every game. Every opponent. Getting away from the game little bit but not fully.
“Always trying to stay present. When game day is here, I’m here five hours before the game prepping. I’m prepping myself individually. I’m prepping on what I need to do to help this team be victorious. Prepping on everything I can possibly do in my power to help this team as great as we can be that night. That’s what is going into it.”
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