‘Elevates Guys’: Hall of Famer Reggie Miller Explains LeBron James’ Impact On His Teams

Published 07/13/2021, 12:42 PM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


The Lakers had a somewhat mediocre season after all. From topping the table to crumbling down to seventh, it was a roller coaster season for the Lakers. Their star player LeBron James was in fine touch, but he would’ve been disappointed with how the season ended for his side. Being so successful over the years, the Ohio born icon was handed a harsh reality check this season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Reggie Miller believes LeBron James ‘elevates’ players

In spite of being knocked out by the Phoenix Suns early on, Lakers’ No.23 was on song whenever he features for the defending champions. The Shooting Guard joined the Lakers in order to expand its legacy, and continues to blow away everyone’s minds at the age of 36. In what many considered an under par season for him, James still managed to average 25 points in the regular season. And with the power and pace at which the former Cleveland legend was playing, anybody who thought he is almost done, will have to think again.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Historic Night, Cameron Johnson’s Stunning Dunk, Other Bucks vs Suns Game-3 Highlights

NBA analyst Reggie Miller believed the same of LeBron. He broke down potentially why the Lakers failed to make it all the way, and whether or not James is the one holding the rest of the team back. “It’s called expectations, he [someone like Kyle Kuzma] can’t raise his expectations playing with a generational type player, no.”

“LeBron elevates guys. Think about some of the teams that LeBron took to the finals in Cleveland; like, where are these guys now? So he’s not stunting Kyle Kuzma,” said Miller on the Dan Patrick Show.

Lakers too reliant on LeBron and Anthony Davis?

One of the common concerns raised about the Lakers was the over-dependence on their star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Both these players accumulated over 20 points, and their absence led to many problems for the side.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Without LeBron and Davis, the senior players in the Lakers squad Caldwell-Pope, Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma himself. However, none of these players managed to find their feet when it mattered the most. It could be argued that the lack of having to deliver in the presence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, made it extra hard for the rest of the squad to deliver when the lights shone solely on them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

If the Lakers are to stitch a better season next year, they will have to ensure that they build a top quality side that can shine under the radar. Players who can add value under the mentoring of the senior players will be key. And with LeBron James certain to return with the No.6 jersey, the Lakers nation will be hoping for some fireworks.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Sankalp Harikrishnan

98 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT