The Los Angeles Lakers are squaring off with LeBron James and Klutch Sports. And it sounds like we haven’t even seen the worst of it.
We’ve already had a tumultuous All-Star Weekend where LeBron stoked the media fire by involving the Cleveland Cavaliers as well as his son Bronny James in a rare interview. And then in media availability for the event, he went out of his way to praise executives for the Thunder and Cavs in Sam Presti and Koby Altman. It all seems to indicate that LeBron and his agency would be happy if Rob Pelinka wasn’t calling the shots anymore, however as Marc Stein notes, it doesn’t seem like Jeanie Buss or the Lakers wouldn’t be canning Pelinka any time soon.
It’s all led to the following report from The Athletic’s Bill Oram as he covered where the sides are now with the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror.
Because James and agent Rich Paul long grabbed hold of the Lakers organization and are now beginning to really squeeze.
The situation is tense enough that one source close to the Lakers likened it to the early days of a war.
So far, the Lakers haven’t shown a particular willingness to engage in battle with their superstar, with sources saying that Pelinka has insisted internally that there are no hard feelings between the two sides.
The Lakers only have 24 games remaining in the season until they (most likely) enter the play-in tournament. Although they can only make moves within the buyout market between now and the end of the season, it seems as if this week won’t be the last time we hear reports trickle out from either side as the blame game continues.
Luckily, we won’t have any worry of this being boring. Although the team will probably continue to suffer from the off-the-court drama, at least we have anonymous team sources comparing the Lakers’ feeble situation to a war while an actual, world-altering war may be happening soon between the United States of America and Russia.
Sure, it seems like that type of dramatic wordplay would be best suited for a TV show’s writers room, but since the Lakers are more of a soap opera than most soap operas, I guess it fits.