When the Los Angeles Lakers lost the Oklahoma City Thunder on August 5, hardly anyone thought much of it. The Lakers had already secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard were hurt, and they had a game against the Houston Rockets the next day.
However, James said something after that game that raised a few eyebrows.
“There’s just some things that you really can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s kind of like off the floor,” James said.
Since then, everyone has been scrambling to figure out what James meant. Was he growing frustrated with his teammates’ lackluster performances? Were there finally problems arising between him and Frank Vogel in light of their recent struggles? Has Patrick Beverley been pulling the fire alarms on their floor?
While we still don’t know exactly what James was referring to, we now know that it wasn’t two of the aforementioned issues. In an interview with Chris Haynes on TNT, James said that his relationship with the Lakers is fine, and that his ominous message wasn’t directed at anything going on in the locker room:
“I can just tell you this: it has nothing to do with our team. One thing about our team, we have zero lack of team chemistry and camaraderie. That’s the one thing that our team will always strive and always be about. It’s a little more intricate than that. I might tell you when the cameras ain’t on. But it has nothing to do with the Lakers and our group. Our group is probably as close as ever before because of the situation — even more since we’re here. The Lake Show, Laker Nation: don’t worry about the ball club. We’re great.”
What James is likely referring to is the circumstances in which the Lakers are playing in. From the bed that he’s sleeping in to the food that he’s eating, everything about this playoff run has been drastically different for James, which is why he’s already gone on record and said this is his most difficult title chase of his career.
Now, is it possible that tensions will grow in the locker room as the postseason progresses? Absolutely! Can you imagine what it would be like if the Lakers went down 2-0 in the first round? The leaks would come flooding out of the locker room.
For now, though, everything seems to be fine, and as long as they get back on track on Thursday, they should stay that way.