‘Disagree’: Former NBA Champion Rejects LeBron James’ Comments on the Play-in Tournament

Published 05/04/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
Mar 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is helped up by Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews (9) and Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) after injuring his leg in the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James’ Lakers are in massive trouble with every possible thing going against their cause. The team is hanging by a thread and are not sure whether they can keep themselves in the top six before the regular season ends. 

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When Anthony Davis made a comeback and the Lakers were still losing, LA fans set their eyes on the return of LeBron James. However, the king’s arrival produced the same dire result and further pushed the defending champions into the ditch. On top of that, a series of under-confident comments from Bron further aggravated the situation.

Kendrick Perkins least amused with LeBron James

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In a recent interview, the retired NBA Champion and Bron’s former teammate, KP, made his point on the play-in tournament. Earlier, LeBron James had demanded that the person who came up with the idea of a play-in must be fired.

Reacting to that, Kendrick Perkins expressed, “I disagree with LeBron as far as the play in because I actually love the play-in tournament, okay? It holds teams and organizations accountable throughout the regular season, not to take the regular season for granted.” 

This additional event between the regular season and the playoffs ensures that at least 10-12 teams in both conferences remain locked in. It keeps the teams from becoming complacent and pushes them to stay on their toes until the very end.

KP emphasized the same and added, “During this time, when it is getting towards the end of the regular season, going into the playoffs, sometimes teams relax, you have guys load managing, guys sitting out of games, guys tanking, things of that nature… When you think about load management where hard-working people are taking their keys to the games…the superstars not playing, now you have to play because every game means something.”

Now, since the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is also a fan of play-in, the teams and players must get used to it.

Read also – End of LeBronto? Worrying Record in Lakers Uniform Proves LeBron Isn’t Raptors’ Kryptonite Any More

Why was the Lakers’ leader so frustrated?

LeBron James is far from 100% fitness and that came out against the Raptors when he re-injured his ankle. Plus, the Lakers have also lost Dennis Schroder to health and safety protocols. To make the matters worse, the franchise has a crazy upcoming week where they face five back-to-back tough games with opponents ranked either similar to them or much higher than them.

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Lakers’ LeBron James reacts against the Suns during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic had earlier spoken against the play-in (when the Mavs were low in the ranks), and now Bron has done the same. But this sent out a message in the league that the Lakers are fearful, and that’s not a good sign for Frank Vogel’s men.

Had the same team been out of the top 8, they’d have loved the additional games. KP had the perfect example to support this claim and said, The guy that gave us a great example to take full of advantage of the play-in tournament was Damian Lillard. He said ‘I’m not going to the bubble just to play, I need a reason to play…’ So I get LeBron’s frustration because of his ankle injury and his team where they are, but the play-in tournament is a great thing.”

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What do you think, are the play-in games good or not? 

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Sourabh Singh

1410 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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