‘Needs To Be Fired’: Lakers’ LeBron James’ Heated Reaction Against Play-In Tournament

Published 05/03/2021, 2:19 AM EDT
May 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) shoots against Toronto Raptors forward Stanley Johnson (5) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


LeBron James is finally back. After a month-long absence due to injury, LeBron is back in the purple and gold to help them secure a playoff spot. However, his return has not gone to plan.

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The Lakers have continued to lose, even after James’ return. Perhaps, this is because the team has gotten used to playing without LeBron, so chemistry may be an issue. Regardless, the Lakers run the risk of falling to a play-in tournament spot.

LeBron James not a fan of the play-in tournament

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James spoke to the press after their loss to the Toronto Raptors. A reporter asked James about the play-in tournament and the possibility of the Lakers having to play it to make the playoffs. LeBron was not a fan of the idea, saying, “Whoever came up with that sh*t needs to be fired”.

James is clearly unhappy about the possibility of the Lakers having to play through the play-in after being the number one seed in the West last year.

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The Lakers have a very difficult schedule going forward if they want to avoid the play-in tournament. Tomorrow, they face the Denver Nuggets, who have been in fantastic form.

Next, they’ll have to face the LA Clippers on Wednesday, and then finally face the Portland Trail Blazers on the weekend. All three games are must-win for the Lakers, as failing to win even one will allow the Trail Blazers to surpass them in the seedings.

Lakers need to find form

Clearly, the Lakers are going through chemistry issues at the moment. Lengthy absences from LeBron James and Anthony Davis meant the team had to learn to play without them.

Because of this, they haven’t hit the ground running. Furthermore, with any injury, there is always some rust that develops, and James and AD have to play their way through it. However, they need to take time into consideration.

May 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Toronto Raptors forward Freddie Gillespie (55) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Lakers are entering the final stretch of the season, with less than 10 games left to be played. And given how tough their fixtures are, they need to develop chemistry ASAP. A win in their next three games against conference rivals would be huge. It would help them secure the sixth seed and allow them to gain confidence over teams that they will have to face during the playoffs.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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