The Los Angeles Lakers getting blown out from end-to-end by the depleted Denver Nuggets on Saturday night — eventually losing by 37 points — was almost unquestionably the new low point in a season full of contenders for metaphysical rock bottoms.
Things were so bad that LeBron James skipped his customary postgame media availability, a surefire sign he didn’t want to answer questions about “if this team can ultimately make things work” or “if this was the new worst loss of the season” again, queries the team has given the local press plenty of reasons to ask this year. Even if it’s also easy to understand, on a human level, why James didn’t feel like answering them again.
But while James may not have made his actual voice heard publicly following the loss, nearly 24 hours later on Sunday night, he left little doubt how he feels, tweeting an apology to Lakers fans and promising the team would “be better” moving forward:
#LakerNation I apologize and I promise we’ll be better!— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 17, 2022
Veteran LeBron chronicler Dave McMenamin of ESPN read this tweet as a potential response to Magic Johnson blasting the Lakers for their effort on Saturday night, but whether this was in response to that message or some promise of action, who the “we” James is referring to includes will be the interesting thing to watch for the next month as the NBA’s Feb. 10 trade deadline approaches. This tweet was hardly James serving LeViction notices to his underperforming teammates, but he also knows the power of his voice, and how his words will be taken in a situation like this, after a loss like last night’s.
21-22 just isn’t good enough for a team with title aspirations. James knows that, and he’s going to make sure things get better for the Lakers, or go down swinging. So rest assured, the Lakers are basically guaranteed to be active at the deadline, trying to help their 37-year-old franchise player deliver on his latest public proclamation.
In short, at this point it would be a real shock if this team doesn’t look a whole lot different in 30 days or so. Just about everyone besides James should be keeping a go bag packed, just in case.