I used to consider myself a premier Laker hater. I lived to despise the purple and gold. Every move they made had my blood boiling, every missed Kobe 19-footer filled me with glee, each championship threatened to shatter my psyche. As with most of my sports hatred, the vitriol eased with age. The Lakers got worse, Kobe slipped from an elite player to an overly confident pickup game chucker being paid like John Wall, gifs like these:
went from infuriating to hilarious. Hating the Lakers just became less fun. Even now, with one of the greatest players of all time at the helm, they’re mostly an afterthought in the competitive balance of the Western Conference. But, luckily for all the natural born haters out there, one man has yet to give up the desire to see the Lakers fall: LeBron James.
I wouldn’t have guessed LeBron held such disdain for Showtime, but it’s pretty undeniable at this point. Just look at what he’s done the last few months: joins the Lakers without clarifying if it was a competitive move or a legacy move meant to set up the next stage of his life, resulting in a weird offseason of win-now signings without turning their talented young players into high-quality veterans, leading to a completely mismatched roster that had no shot from the start. Also from the start, he completely ignores and undermines coach Luke Walton, sabotaging a possible stabilizing voice the young core of players would need for the ensuing LeBron roller coaster. He gets hurt for the first time ever and spends every game on the bench drinking wine and publicly saying he didn’t care about the season and that he had nothing left to prove. Then his
mouthpiece puppet childhood friend business partner agent Rich Paul says fellow client Anthony Davis wants out and, surprise! the Lakers are the preferred destination. Every single player on the roster is very publicly said to be expendable, killing chemistry and confidence at the same time. The trade deadline passes and they disastrously fail to acquire Davis and everyone acknowledges the Lakers aren’t doing anything this season. They continue to lose. LeBron says no one’s focused on basketball enough, even though he took a game off to record with 2 Chainz and he’s had the worst season of his career and he only signed with the Lakers to make Space Jam 2 and Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma have carried the team recently, then immediately posts a graphic congratulating himself for his own achievements after an embarrassing loss to Memphis. This is some next-level grudge-keeping. I have no idea what the Lakers did to LeBron in his youth, but he clearly hasn’t forgotten it. This is the most destructive season I can ever remember a player having, and we still have twenty games to go. LeBron won’t rest until the very foundations of the Staples Center are demolished. No player is safe, no coach is safe. LeBron refuses to let the Lakers thrive or develop in any way, and for that, I am very thankful.