Magic Johnson came down from on high last week and expressed frustration with the Lakers, their sets and the slow start and coach Luke Walton caught his wrath. Walton couldn’t really respond the way he should have — “Did you see the roster you gave me? What did you expect?” — so it’s become the latest storm around the Lakers. Because every season around the Lakers has drama, real and manufactured.
“It doesn’t bother me at all because I don’t pay attention to it, I don’t listen to it,” James said Saturday…
“It actually never even gets to me really, so it’s not a big deal for us,” James continued. “We need to figure out how we can string together some great games or even good games and bring our win total from where it is now. Because that’s the business we’re in. That’s the only thing we want to do. We want to be as good a team as we can be and win ball games.”
Do I think LeBron lets this kind of noise impact his play on the court? No. Been around too long, heard and seen too much, he knows how to tune it all out. What you see right now is what you get with LeBron, who coasts a little at times during the regular season (some Lakers fans seem surprised by this).
Does he listen to it and pay attention? Damn straight. LeBron understands organizational politics and how he can influence it more than anyone. If anything is going to happen with Walton — and don’t expect some panic move early — it will be with LeBron’s approval. If LeBron wants Walton, then Walton stays.
What the Lakers need are wins, but a tough Saturday game in Portland followed by a long flight to play the Raptors at home is a challenging back-to-back. To put it mildly.