In the midst of the turmoil that the Lakers are now in, we take a look back to when Jason Whitlock warned of the LeBron James effect.
Sports media bodies and fans have already exhausted their full vocabulary of deprecating superlatives for the Lakers this season. The squad, propped up by 5 first-ballot Hall of Famers, is among the worst in the NBA today.
For LeBron James personally, the decline in their play has been a turnaround unlike anything he’d foreseen. While his statistical production is in line with the rest of his career, his 37 years of dog NBA years are fully apparent in the amount of effort he exerts during defense.
If there’s even a slight chance that James might receive a foul call, he exaggerates the contact. And when he should be racing back on D, LeBron is often found sauntering in the offensive half.
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It has now come to a point where even the Lakers’ hardcore faithful have turned squarely on ‘The King’. ‘The Chosen One’, as James was hyped up, is indeed now turning into the relic we all feared watching live.
19 years into perhaps the most storied NBA career of all time, James is now at his wit’s end. This Lakers roster is clearly way beyond salvation at this point, especially with Anthony Davis sidelined.
When Jason Whitlock foretold what the LeBron James effect on the Lakers would be
While LeBron James’ on-court life has now turned into pure melodrama and is constantly filled with shots where he’s placed his arms on his hips, his off-court life and business interests are continuing unabated.
A faction of Lakers fans is smarting at how his self-promotion tweets and updates continue unabated. His statement about trying to play with his son Bronny James in the NBA was widely panned. It brought back memories for NBA fans to a time when Bronny James was only 14.
And at the young age of 14, LeBron unwittingly placed the world’s attention on his son’s draft prospects. He’d turn up at AAU tournaments where Bronny James would be slated to play, wowing crowds and baby mamas with his theatrics. However, Jason Whitlock wasn’t amused.
Whitlock has been among the stoutest LeBron James critics out there through the years. The former college football player was utterly scathing in his assessment of how LeBron behaved at his son’s AAU tournament games:
“It’s inappropriate,” Whitlock said. “It points to how much fame has inevitably changed LeBron over the past decade. Fame is a drug more potent and dangerous than cocaine. LeBron is a fame and social media junkie. He moved to Los Angeles looking for a better high.”
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) July 30, 2019
As Bronny James finishes his junior year HS season off, he’ll doubtless be a little relieved. After all, the circus he’s probably been hoping to avoid has now moved back squarely to his dad’s pressers.