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LeBron James extension only means more Lakers mediocrity

By James Brown

LeBron James extension only means more Lakers mediocrity

According to Bill Plaschke, Lakers extending LeBron James only means more ‘embarrassing mediocrity.’

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LeBron James just signed a monster two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers. This new deal will give the 38-year-old $97 million guaranteed money, which will make him the highest-earning player in NBA history as he will reach 530 million during his career. The deal at first seemed like a step forward towards a better season for the Lakers. But according to Bill Plaschke, from the Los Angeles Times, this deal only means mediocrity.

Plaschke, wrote in a column, “A franchise lacking in youth and depth just tied its fortunes to a guy who will play his final guaranteed season at age 39… A team that needs to build for the future remains stuck in the past, forgoing substance for sizzle, clinging to an aging star even as the sky is falling around them.” reminding that the Lakers doesn't have a first round pick until 2027, and so the team doesn't have a way to really improve their roster.

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More likely than not, the Lakers will have another mediocre season missing the playoffs or losing at the play-in round. This is why the columnist argues that the Lakers wanted to keep Lebron for the following seasons. "It’s like the Lakers said, OK, we’re gonna be mediocre for the next couple of seasons anyway, so why not at least keep the one player who makes us watchable?. Let's not forget the Lakers will have 39 nationally televised games during the 2022-23 season, which is second most in the whole league.

LeBron James hasn't had real success in his tenure with the Lakers. Despite winning a shortened championship, the other three seasons have ended in mediocrity. “In his three full seasons with the Lakers — not counting the abbreviated bubble championship in 2020, James has led his group to exactly zero playoff series wins, and only one playoff appearance… A move that ordinarily would have brought out the purple and gold flags instead felt like the raising of a white one” finished Plaschke.

Was it really worth giving LeBron James an extension?

On one hand, LeBron James was and is the best player on the Lakers roster, and without him, the Lakers have no chance to compete for anything. He led the team in points scored and minutes played per game. He also was in the top three in all the major categories . However, he also missed almost 30 games, he is no longer the ‘Iron-man’ he once was. Depending on LeBron James carrying to a championship is no longer viable.

 

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