LeBron James — still the most popular player in the league if you go by jersey sales — and his Los Angeles Lakers are watching this postseason from home. The team didn’t even qualify for the play-in.
LeBron is watching the playoffs from home for only the third time in his career — and he Tweeted out it won’t happen again (NSFW language, be warned).
I can/will NOT miss the post season again for my career! This shit HURT. Ok back to watching these games.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 23, 2022
Without question, LeBron will put in the work this offseason to live up to that promise. At age 37, he was still unquestionably an All-NBA level player this season.
Will LeBron get enough help to live up to that promise is the real question. Will Anthony Davis be healthy enough and step up to be the No. 1 option — at least for stretches of the season — the Lakers need him to be. Will GM Rob Pelinka and the front office put a better constructed team around LeBron that can defend and shoot well enough to live up to that promise?
The interesting thing to watch with LeBron will come in August when the Lakers can — and will — offer him a two-year, $97.1 million max extension. By that point, LeBron will have a pretty good idea of what the roster around him next season and moving forward would look like. Will LeBron sign that extension or choose to play out his contract and become a free agent? This is the leverage LeBron used in Cleveland to keep the organization pushing to win in the short term while he was there, now he is bringing it to Los Angeles. He probably re-signs, but the door is open.