There is a lot on the line for Friday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Obviously, a loss on LA’s home court would tie the series and lead to a Game 7 back in Memphis, which would be a very tough challenge for the Lakers.
But there is more hanging in the balance including LeBron James’ legacy and the team’s future.
Stephen A. Smith believes that if the Lakers don’t win this series, they will not secure another championship with James.
"If the Los Angeles Lakers lose this game … the LeBron James' championship era in LA comes to an end."
😳 @stephenasmith pic.twitter.com/ZAtt4Cuvwe
— First Take (@FirstTake) April 28, 2023
Smith said that both James and Anthony Davis are two great players but they are getting older or acting older and the window for this team to win it all is closing.
The Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies are getting stronger, along with the Denver Nuggets and a slew of other teams in the West.
As Smith put it, “I don’t see the future being brighter for them.”
Smith believes that James knew he didn’t have what it took to win in Game 5, perhaps because of fatigue or age catching up with him.
But he also thinks that he will have what it takes to win on Friday night, putting the series to an end.
“I expect him to be big time tonight,” Smith emphatically said.
Fans of the team are hoping he is right.
While the chance of the Lakers winning the series even if they lose on Friday does exist, it is certainly slim, which was made even more apparent the other night.
For the Lakers, a victory on Friday night is hugely important.NEXT: Skip Bayless Slams LeBron Over His Game 5 Performance