There is a lot on the line for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
After a season that has seen much heartbreak and a fair share of impressive success, the team will participate in a play-in game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The winner gets to be the seventh seed in the West and the loser only gets one more shot at qualifying for the playoffs.
According to Skip Bayless, LeBron James’ legacy hangs in the balance.
“LeBron needs to validate passing Kareem with some kind of playoff run,” Bayless said.
"LeBron needs to validate passing Kareem with some kind of playoff run."
— @RealSkipBayless explains the importance of the 2023 Playoffs to LeBron's legacy: pic.twitter.com/4ug732EJRR
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 11, 2023
Earlier this season, James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time points leader in NBA history.
It was a major moment in his career, one celebrated by everyone, including his biggest detractors.
If James were to end such a historic season without making the playoffs, it would be a huge letdown for himself and his fans.
But James needs to do more than just make the playoffs, according to Bayless.
He needs a substantial postseason run that leaves some sort of impression.
The Western Conference is incredibly deep and tough.
However, the Lakers have the best record in their conference since the trade deadline and have been trending in the right direction lately.
Therefore, the idea of James ending his season with big wins in the playoffs isn’t far-fetched.
Of course, the first order of business is beating the Timberwolves, which James and his squad will attempt to do on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
If they fall to the Timberwolves, they will then have to take on the winner of the New Orleans Pelicans-Oklahoma City Thunder game.
They are hoping to avoid that and instead get a few days of rest before the playoffs start this weekend.NEXT: Anthony Davis Comments On How Trade Deadline Moves Helped The Team