The Los Angeles Lakers are potentially entering a very volatile situation. LeBron James is set to enter a contract year and as he nears the end of his historic career, he’s going to want to compete for championships in his last few years. As it currently stands, the Lakers’ roster isn’t good enough to win a championship this season, and don’t have a lot of options to fix that.
Perhaps the only option would be a trade for Kyrie Irving, which would be quite risky considering all the red flags surrounding the guard. Though trading for him could be a disaster, it would certainly appease LeBron, who is the one campaigning the hardest for the move, per Marc Stein. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has always been accommodating to her star players but she appears to be torn with the current state of her franchise.
She recently put out a cryptic tweet about missing the late Kobe Bryant and about how “he understood team over self.”
It’s possible that she was in her feelings and just wanted to send out a message praising the Hall of Famer. However, some took it as a shot at LeBron. Mike Golic Jr. on the “GoJo Show” podcast believes that the owner was definitely throwing shade at the superstar.
“Is there any other way to read this, other than it as shade towards LeBron James?” Golic asked.
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Was Buss Actually Throwing Shade?
Buss isn’t the most active Twitter user but she uses the platform more than most owners. She’s not ignorant of the fact that what she says carries weight. She’s also not ignorant of the fact that alienating LeBron in an ill-conceived attempt to take a shot at him would be a massive error in judgment.
Buss knows how important it is to keep a team’s star player happy. She said as much in May when she posted a clip from HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” and said that “when a star player and owner align winning happens.”
There is no bigger star in the NBA than LeBron. He’s already brought the Lakers a championship and made them relevant after years of mediocrity. Taking a veiled shot at the future Hall of Famer isn’t exactly a smart way to try and align with him. There could be truth to the idea that Buss is letting out some frustrations but it’s a stretch that she’s trying to throw shade at LeBron right now.
Do Lakers Not Want Irving?
If there is tension within the Lakers organization again, it could be related to the Kyrie Irving trade talk. There’s no doubt the seven-time All-Star is one of the most dynamic players in the NBA. That said, he’s also one of the biggest headaches.
From wild theories to taking unscheduled sabbaticals, Irving isn’t a reliable star. LeBron apparently wants him but that might not be how the Lakers front office feels. If a Russell Westbrook for Irving swap could happen outright, then it would easily be worth doing. The Brooklyn Nets would likely never agree to that. The Lakers will have to give up assets to land Irving and there’s a good chance they don’t want to do that. If they aren’t able to land the guard, then the LeBron situation could be something to watch over the next several months.