Stephen A. Smith goes nuts on Paul Pierce’s suggestion that Lakers’ LeBron James should shut it down for the season
Former NBA player Paul Pierce recently said on ESPN’s show The Jump that with the Los Angeles Lakers’ slim chances of making the playoffs, it will be better for the team to let their superstar LeBron James to sit the rest of the season out.
“If I’m the Lakers, I would shut LeBron down. Seriously, he’s getting older. He has to do much for them to win. I mean just look at him, he puts out a triple-double, and they can’t win.”
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith was upset with what Paul Pierce said and shared his take about what he called as “blasphemous” remarks from the former Boston Celtics star.
“First it was Scottie Pippen and T-Mac talking about ‘sit Zion [Williamson] down’ in the middle of the season, just quit. Now, Paul Pierce with LeBron. How much does LeBron get paid? $35 million? Sit down? Don’t even work?”
“[The Lakers have] 22 games left. Still in the hunt for a playoff spot, and Paul Pierce is saying sit down LeBron James, the best player in the world?”
Pierce’s comments might come with some type of bias, knowing that he was once a player who suited up for the Celtics, the Lakers’ long-time rivals. But to some extent, he does make sense here.
LeBron is coming off of a groin injury that sidelined him for an entire month. He missed a total of 18 games, with the Lakers going 6-12. He returned a couple of weeks ago, but that doesn’t seem to have helped the Lakers, as they have lost to teams like the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans (without Anthony Davis), and Memphis Grizzlies with him on the line-up.
However, it’s also hard to argue with Stephen A. Smith here. The Lakers are 29-31, and are just three games behind the eighth-seeded San Antonio Spurs. If LeBron can play at an elite level for the next 22 games, the Purple and Gold will have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs and might even notch the seventh seed to avoid meeting the Golden State Warriors in the first round.
Regardless of who’s right or wrong, the Lakers are still in the playoff mix, and if LeBron sits the season out, his critics will be all over the place once again.