‘Something Wrong with Him’: Charles Barkley Still Unimpressed with Lakers’ LeBron James

Published 05/30/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard LeBron James (23) reacts against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Phoenix Suns (#2) and the Lakers (#7) seem to have swapped ranks with one another because the latter is now playing like a top seed. The Suns, probably the most fortunate team in terms of health prior to the playoffs, is now dealing with misfortune. One, they found the defending champions in the first round, and two, they now have an unfit Chris Paul.

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For the Lakers, the points to rejoice are the comeback of Anthony Davis and improved performance from LeBron James. But still, can Frank Vogel become free from worries about his star duo, more specifically, about King Bron?

Charles Barkley is still not buying LeBron James 

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In a recent episode of NBA on TNT, NBA Hall of Famer turned analyst Charles Barkley gave his assessment of Bron’s recent performance. Although he agreed that the Akron Hammer showed some character in the second half of Game 3, he also raised doubts over his overall postseason performance.

The 58-YO legend expressed, “remember when Chris Haynes said, he got an injury, that he told he’s not going to heal until [indiscernible]. But there is something wrong with him. But he was a little bit aggressive in the second half. I can just tell, watching the first three games, he’s not been aggressive as he normally be looking to pass the ball. But… he said hey, I’m not gonna sit out. I’m gonna play.”

The data agrees with what the Big Chuck claimed as Bron is more involved in playmaking than scoring himself. In the 2020-21 regular season, the L-Train averaged 18.3 field goal attempts and made 7.8 assists. However, in the last three postseason games, Bron averaged 16 FG attempts and recorded 9.3 apg. 

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What can the Lakers fans expect from Bron in the coming games?

LeBron James has never averaged below 23.7 (2011) in a playoff during his 14 season appearances before this one. Although Anthony Davis has found his rhythm, Bron can not afford to leave the offense on AD’s shoulders in the upcoming games. 

Playing with a purpose and staying more aggressive on the offense will stay a key for Bron. In fact, this will ease some load off AD’s shoulders, who is often double-teamed. 

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May 25, 2021; LeBron James celebrates with teammates at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Moreover, the world saw King James yelling at Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, forcing him to attempt more shots. He grabbed KCP in Game 2 and shouted, “I want you to shoot!” continuously until the 28-YO guard nodded his head in agreement. Frank Vogel would love to see that kind of leadership on the floor if the Lakers are to go big from here.

Will LeBron improve his offense in the coming games? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1266 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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