Tuesday, June 28, 2022

LeBron James opens up about his favorite moment since joining the Lakers

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LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018. The King signed a four-year, $153.5 million deal and his arrival in Los Angeles made the Lakers relevant again.

Unfortunately, James has had more downs than ups since joining the Lakers. Los Angeles has missed the playoffs twice, losing in the first round of the postseason during the LeBron era.

However, the 2019-20 season was magical for James and co. The purple-golds won the 2020 championship over the Miami Heat in six games at the Walt Disney World bubble. They defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference playoffs, and James admitted on May 16 that Anthony Davis’ win over the Nuggets in Game 2 is his finest moment since joining the Lakers .

The Lakers defeated the Nuggets in five games in the 2020 Western Conference Finals. Davis hit a 3-pointer on the buzzer in Game 2 to give Los Angeles a 105-103 win.

Davis and James were a deadly duo in the 2020 playoffs, and the two superstars helped the Lakers capture the No. 17 championship in franchise history.

The Lakers went into the 2020 playoffs 16-5. They beat the Blazers 4-1, the Rockets 4-1, the Nuggets 4-1 and the Heat 4-2.

James averaged 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in the 2020 playoffs while shooting 56.0% from the field, 37.0% from beyond the arc, and 72.0% from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Davis averaged 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 57.1% from the floor, 38.3% from the 3-point line, and 83.2% from the charity streak.

James won his fourth Finals MVP award by averaging 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists against the Heat in the 2020 Finals. The Akron Hammer became the first player in NBA history to have three Finals MVPs with three different ones teams won.

Davis was also phenomenal against the Heat. The Chicago native averaged 25.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks and eventually won his first NBA title.

Both James and Davis signed new contracts with the Lakers in December 2020. The former signed a two-year, $85.6 million extension while the latter agreed to a five-year, $189.9 million deal. The Lakers had the best preseason odds to win the 2020-21 championship, but they won just 42 regular-season games as James missed 27 contests and Davis missed 36.

The Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games in the first round of the 2021 playoffs. They went 2-1 up after winning Game 3. However, Davis suffered a groin injury in Game 4 and the series changed completely. The Suns won Games 4, 5 and 6, eliminating the Lakers and giving James his first first-round exit.

Los Angeles was converted in the summer of 2021. Russell Westbrook acquired the franchise from the Washington Wizards and signed Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk, Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, Avery Bradley, DeAndre Jordan, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington and Kendrick Nunn as free agents. The Lakers had the second-best chance of winning the 2022 title last season. However, they’ve been a walking disaster this season.

The Lakers have been a mess all season. They only won 33 games and missed the playoffs. Frank Vogel was fired as head coach on April 11, and Westbrook was such a bad fit alongside James and Davis that he was benched by Vogel several times and booed at home games.

James had an incredible 2021-22 season. He averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists and had 50 points twice. However, even James’ brilliance wasn’t enough to save the Lakers, who were down 115.1 points per game.

James will play for his third head coach since joining the Lakers in 2018. The four-time MVP will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023 if he doesn’t sign a renewal this offseason.

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