Lakers star LeBron James’ Nike poster taken down outside Staples Center
LeBron James didn’t actually call out his younger teammates for a lack of focus on Monday night. The Los Angeles Lakers are 29-31, 11th in the Western Conference, a standing that says more about their 7-12 record during James’ injury-related absence than their play with him in the lineup. The Lakers weren’t able to acquire Anthony Davis before the trade deadline, and there’s no guarantee another superstar will make his way to town before the New Orleans Pelicans’ franchise player finally hits the free agent market in 2020.
Clearly, James’ tenure with the purple and gold should already be considered a failure, right? Of course not. Los Angeles has plenty of time to turn things around big picture, and six weeks to make up three games in the standings – a tall but hardly impossible task.
It’s much too early to write off LeBron James’ first season with the Lakers as a disaster. Don’t tell that to those who made the decision to strip his Nike poster off the exterior of Staples Center, though:
Don’t look now, but after a night when the #Lakers lose to the #Grizzlies and the #Clippers win again to inch closer to a playoff spot, the LeBron James Nike poster is getting taken down just outside of Staples Center on the walls of L.A. Live at 1:30 A.M. pic.twitter.com/H5pILD2XWl
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 26, 2019
To be clear, there’s nothing indicating that the removal of the banner is in any way related to the Lakers’ struggles. It seems likely the timing here is more coincidental than any acknowledgement of the ongoing, increasing frustration felt by the team’s passionate legion of fans. But this is sure to flame the fans of hysteria regardless, especially in the wake of the loss to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, and LeBron James’ subsequent comments that have been largely taken out of context.
The Lakers get back at it on Wednesday versus Davis and the Pelicans at Staples.