The Los Angeles Lakers were having a lot of fun on Tuesday night. The players were all smiles as they amassed a 17-point lead over the Indiana Pacers in the fourth quarter and were on the brink of logging their sixth win in the past seven games. And then, disaster struck.
The Lakers somehow allowed the Pacers to crawl back into the game only for Indiana rookie Andrew Nembhard to beat them at the buzzer with a game-winning triple. It was a sad day to be a Lakers fan after watching that collapse, and for his part, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins is pinning the blame on none other than LeBron James:
“I can’t point the finger at Darvin Ham, I can’t point the finger at Russell Westbrook. I gotta go with LeBron James on this one,” Perkins said. “And here’s why: we talk about who is the best player on the Lakers right now, and that is Anthony Marshon Davis. … So, when I’m looking at last night’s collapse, I’m thinking how in the hell did Anthony Davis only shoot two shots (in the fourth quarter)? Why didn’t LeBron James take control and go to the point guard position and force-feed Anthony Davis?”
Perkins did not hold back as he blamed LeBron for not taking over the game. Big Perk did not want James to score for the Lakers in crunch time but instead, he wanted LeBron to put Anthony Davis in a position to take it home for the Lakers — something that obviously didn’t happen down the stretch.
At this point, Perkins demands that LeBron James fully accept the fact that Davis is the best player on the Lakers and make sure that the team defers to AD when it matters the most:
“I think it’s time that LeBron James — not halfway — but all the way give him the keys to the car,” Perkins stated.
.@KendrickPerkins blames LeBron for the Lakers' blown 4th quarter lead vs. Indiana:
"How in the hell did Anthony Davis only shoot two shots? Why didn't LeBron James take control and go to the point guard position and force-feed Anthony Davis?" pic.twitter.com/CfIL3xa9iU
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 29, 2022
It is worth noting that LeBron has in the past admitted that Anthony Davis will be the focal point of the Lakers this season. The 37-year-old seems to be well aware of the fact that he can’t carry the load for LA at this point in his career and that he has to rely on Davis to do the heavy lifting on most nights.
There’s a big difference between saying it and actually doing it, though, and if you ask Kendrick Perkins, it is clear that he believes that LeBron’s actions have yet to prove that he’s truly accepted his role behind Anthony Davis.