The only thing that has the real power to temporarily freeze and shut down all the drama being created by LeBron James’ team here in Los Angeles is actually the sheer greatness of LeBron James.
During this period, the Lakers They let out a humdrum basketball noise — a low-frequency frenzy delivered with a lot of mellow and angst: the drama of Russell Westbrook. Anthony Davis’ injury stretch is now past but still impactful. Future first-round draft picks are either traded or not. LeBron’s constant efforts to force the team’s hand prompted one rival GM to rant on CBS Sports, “Everybody knows he’s looking for the picks to be traded for help — anybody has to do what they want and have guts. Speak up.”
This LeBron-led Lakers team is 24-28, the lowest-ranked 13th in the Western Conference, a talent group — like so many others that fluctuate between lottery spot, playoff or playoff spot — mired in hype. A group of King James that fell below the expected royal standard.
But that noise is about to stop, at least for a while. Because LeBron’s lifelong pursuit of Michael Jordan is about to be topped by another all-time great.
Just 89 points from now, as you probably already know, LeBron reigns as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. That moment would catapult the Lakers from a struggling team to one again with a touch of hoops greatness.
At least for one night, the ban turns to bravado. Frustration for the holidays. A moment of mediocrity for real, deserved basketball glory.
Will there be enough freedom from anger — enough excitement and positivity — to spark a Lakers revival and run between now and the end of the season? Maybe. Probably not. An NBA championship probably won’t follow.
But a reminder of a feeling – sitting at the center of the basketball universe, the purple and gold, the game’s most talked about team, which once again originated from downtown LA, the entire NBA often turning its jaded and envious eye to the Lakers – will rise again, even temporarily.
Of course it’s good to win. But Laker’s greatest sports story is watching in his hands.
Coincidentally, but confidently, Lakers sources believe that, come what may, LeBron can break this record, and under the porch where No. 33 will always reside. He is on pace to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points at home next week.
Those in the Lakers organization will expect their star to put up enough points in the next two road games to ensure Kareem’s streak ends next Tuesday at home against Oklahoma City. A nationally televised game is against Milwaukee, which is both Kareem’s first NBA team and his club. dollarCurrent star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will challenge LeBron as the other All-Star game captain later this month.
That passing torch comes with a much-needed relief from a long season and a brief respite from a lot of noise.
Russ cut to LeBron’s “Let’s Have Fun”? Fix it later. Brutal roster construction? History doesn’t care. AD-as-Humpty-Dumpty anxiety? Worry later. The manager? Even they can’t (or won’t) blow the whistle on this. What LeBron is about to come out with is truly amazing.
The shippers, the fans, and the rest of us can enjoy the moment as we wonder what will happen six weeks or six months after LeBron’s 38,388th point.
There is a priority for this, since another disappointing season, Laker’s great weaving magic.
In the year On April 13, 2016, the Lakers’ 17-win season came to a merciful end. I was at the Staples Center last night for Kobe Bryant’s final night and the jokes or jokes or suspense of that season as Kobe rolled back the years and summed up the points — the 60s.
It was his mark, the one that felt more and more inevitable as the game went on, shot after shot, a reminder of Kobe’s place in the game and how such a beautiful moment blossoms so well, even in the bleakest of gardens. Season.
It was a very different goodbye than what LeBron was asking when he became the new standard bearer for the NBA’s all-time scoring record. But the outcome is likely to be the same: A disappointing Lakers season still rarely makes losing teams light up the stage by connecting with their once-greatest past.
That night, Kobe sat in a crowded press conference after the game, beaming with joy, oozing grandeur, surrounded by a throng of reporters wondering what he had done and how he had managed this amazing and brilliant career.
The same thing awaits us all in the coming week. And once LeBron did it — once he took the top spot and bathed the league in the glow of a historic night — perhaps the same kind of excitement could redefine this Lakers season, whatever that may be. The feeling remains.