Is there anything to be done for the Los Angeles Lakers?
It’s been more than enough time in the season for the team to have its act together and play effectively but they’re just not cutting it.
They’re barely hanging in the top eight of the Western Conference and there is a real, clear chance that they could end up missing the playoffs entirely.
The Lakers made some major swings this season: they landed Russell Westbrook, they also acquired a few other NBA vets, and they even changed their lineup by relying on LeBron James at the center more.
Despite all those changes and all those developments, the team is still struggling.
It’s gotten so bad that there is are wild rumors that head coach Frank Vogel is going to lose his job if things don’t turn around as soon as possible.
Frank Vogel's job is in serious jeopardy, per @TheAthletic
“Vogel is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis and remains at risk of being fired soon if the progress doesn’t continue” pic.twitter.com/J0oxcCpgZ9
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 18, 2022
But perhaps the best choice for the Lakers is to turn to the only reliable person with the team: none other than James himself.
James is one of the best basketball players of all time and easily one of the best playing today.
He’s an athletic beast and can still go toe-to-toe with the best of them at 37 years old.
Physically, he is still one of the most powerful guys in the league.
LeBron James tonight:
55% FG pic.twitter.com/EZSAIEMA3k
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 24, 2022
However, he also has a brilliant mind and his level of basketball IQ is unparalleled.
The guy just understands the game better than anyone else.
You can see it when he’s on the court – he’s seemingly about five or ten steps ahead of everyone he plays against.
This leads to his brilliant passes and his incredible play-making skills and all-around competitiveness.
Perhaps the team should let James coach them more than Vogel?
No one has more playoff experience than James – not Westbrook, not AD, not Vogel.
So why wouldn’t you turn to him and have him lead the way more?
Whatever James says, goes – that should be the new rule for the Lakers as they attempt to make it into the postseason.
He can critique the young guys and perfect their games, he can change the roster and move people into new positions, he can even bench people and decide who would work best with him.
People have often said that James has the power of a team’s general manager and that’s not a bad thing in this situation.
James is the only truly consistent factor of the Lakers, he should be the one crafting the team’s path forward.
General manager, coach, point guard, center, water boy – James should have the ability to be whatever he wants for the Lakers.
Too Far Gone?
James isn’t a magician and even if he was making every play and coaching people until three in the morning, the team still might not cut it.
The problems with the current Lakers are baked into them.
They have spent so much money acquiring Westbrook and now they can’t trade him and have very few other trade assets.
LA also has very little money to land more talent.
So they’re pretty much stuck with who they have – and that means even if James took 100 percent control of the team, they could continue to falter.
James can help – and the team should do whatever he asks – but they might be too far gone.