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As NBA trade talks heat up, LeBron James has made it clear that he wants Kyrie Irving in Los Angeles no matter what. The Lakers had a disappointing season last year due to various reasons. Some of the biggest reasons were coaching, injuries, and the Lakers big three of Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and LeBron played together just 21 games out of the 82-game season.
Irving and James won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. The bottom line is that LeBron has started acting as the team’s general manager, and he is making it known that the Lakers must trade for Kyrie, no matter the cost. That could have been what led to this tweet by Jeanie Buss:
I miss KB. He would understand and explain everything that I’m not allowed to. Honestly he was the greatest Laker ever. He understood team over self. Meaning your rewards would come if you valued team goals over your own then everything would fall into place. All can reply.
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) July 4, 2022
Jeanie Buss did not single out LeBron; this tweet could have been directed at Magic Johnson as well, for leaving the franchise after creating a commotion with the Vice President of Basketball Operations of the Lakers and General Manager Rob Pelinka, before Johnson departed.
It seems like Buss is saying that instead of LeBron focusing on winning another ring, he should focus on how the team could win a championship. However, the tweet mentioned the greatest Laker of all-time, Kobe Bean Bryant. The tweet also said “team over self,” referring to LeBron wanting to make the moves he thinks will work and not the moves Pelinka and Buss wish to make. Buss and LeBron have the same goal, but when Kobe was on the team for 20 years, he wowed the crowd every single game. You don’t get that same feel with LeBron on some nights. He also didn’t force trades to happen. He worked with what he had and won five championships between 2000-2010, and in 2013 when Kobe tore his Achilles, he continuously had to deal with injuries, and his basketball career was never the same.
The point is, when times get tough for LeBron, he immediately wants to trade for a player instead of seeing how he could help improve the current team and work with what he’s got. That’s in comparison to Kobe, who worked out at four o’clock in the morning, every day. He did everything possible to will his team to win games and championships. That also could be what Buss was referring to.
The Lakers added a few young players during the offseason. It remains to be seen what trade the Lakers will make, but a smart trade could be sending LeBron to the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant. That way, LeBron gets what he wants and teams up with Kyrie, and Durant gets out of Brooklyn and joins a team with former teammate Russell Westbrook and arguably a top three power forward when healthy. This team should be more than enough with two potential Hall of Fame teammates for LeBron to win another championship.
If this tension between Buss and LeBron continues, they may have no choice but to trade LeBron, but that’s far-fetched at the moment.