SocraticGadfly: LeBron and winning vs being

July 02, 2018

LeBron and winning vs being

First, I'll agree with Drew Magary at Deadspin that this may be about "being" as much as "winning" for LeBron James to go to the Lake Show.

Right now, they're certainly behind the Rockets, if they resign Clint Capela, as well as the Warriors. They may be no better than the Thunder with a resigned Paul George.

LeBron is an iron man, but there's only so much he can do. If they don't land Kawhi Leonard this year, this is a 45-, maybe 48-win team. No more. I don't agree with 538's 52-win projection.

Without 3-ballers, for example, one of an opponent's other wing defenders can drop back as far as possible within the NBA's zone rules, ready to double up if/when James drives from up top.

Ditto if LeBron posts up. Since the Lakers don't have a lot of 3-ballers OR a lot of reliable post scorers, he can be doubled in many ways. If the rest of the Lakers offense gets stagnant on not making cuts, boy, this is gonna look bad.

Next year? Sure, either Kawhi or an opted-out Kevin Durant is a possible. But a given? Of course not.

And, he's an iron man who is top 10 in career minutes and No. 1 in career playoff minutes. At some point, he runs out of gas.

SI says his relationship to Magic Johnson, who he puts far above Pat Riley, let alone whomever in Cleveland, was a tipping point.

It also listed the Laker mojo of Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaq.

Well, Wilt only helped win one title, and "helped." He wasn't the lead. Kareem didn't win until Magic — and others — for additional titles.

After Shaq left, Kobe didn't win more until peak Pau Gasol.

So, hold my beer, LeBron.

Hell, I'm just going to watch to see if Lance Stephenson blows in his ear on the same team.

ESPN staff predicted either zero or one titles in LA for LeBron. Without either Leonard or Durant, I say zero.

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