Cameron Payne has no love lost for the Lakers, and its clear the feeling is mutual. After a chippy first-round playoff series win over Los Angeles last postseason, Payne and the purple and gold went back and forth again during the 2021 preseason, when LeBron James told Payne repeatedly to “stay humble” as the reserve guard was talking trash to the bench when the Suns were up big.
But it’s been the Lakers who have been humbled this season. Just 26-30 and in ninth place in the Western Conference after their latest humiliating loss, much of the basketball world is reveling in their failure. And on Wednesday night, Payne himself couldn’t resist joining in on the fun, hopping into the “Late Night Lake Show” postgame Twitter spaces to laugh at the team.
“We the No. 1 team in the world, and you worried about the fuckin Lakers. They the worst team in the West, and you’re worried about us,” Payne cracked, before being told he was being recorded.
“You’re not worried about LeBron or nobody hearing this?” responded show host and Frank Vogel tatoo-enthusiast @GuruLakers.
“That’s fine, they can hear it bro. That’s cool. We respect the Lakers, we respect every team in the NBA,” Payne said, the realization he was about to end up in a bunch of blog headlines evident in his voice.
You can watch the full clip below:
Look, the Lakers aren’t the worst team in the West, obviously. But the fact that such a disclaimer is necessary — or that Payne is feeling comfortable enough to blast the team publicly, or that former center Marc Gasol was seemingly enjoying the Schadenfreude himself — is a signal of how much of a laughing stock this team is around the league right now.
And with no help on the way at the trade deadline, if the Lakers want to emphatically prove Payne wrong, LeBron and the rest of the team are just going to have to take their own advice, “stay humble,” and figure this out.