Thursday afternoon, a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst broke stating LeBron James was calling his own plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. And therefore, ignoring head coach Luke Walton. Does that sound a little silly to you? Don’t worry, because it sounds a bit strange to team president Magic Johnson as well. In fact, he’s not buying any of it.
“We have a system (where) the ball moves around, a lot of pick-and-roll plays. If you watch us play, the ball is not in LeBron James’ hands all of the time. It can’t be,” Johnson said on an SiriusXM NBA Radio appearance (via CBSSports.com’s DJ Siddiqi).
But he didn’t stop there either.
“You want to pass it around, you want to get into your pick-and-roll plays. But hey, we’re the Lakers, people are going to be talking about us. But that’s not how it’s going right now.”
Currently, the Lakers are riding a two-game losing streak. Still, they’re 11-9 and in seventh place out West. For what it’s worth, LeBron is doing his part. Across 20 games, he’s averaging 27.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 block per game. In adding James, the Lakers became relevant again after a rough five-year stretch. No, signing LeBron didn’t automatically make them championship contenders. But it did make them a fringe playoff team.
One that Luke Walton will have every chance to lead — at least, as far as this season is concerned. Up next, James and the Lakers play host to the Indiana Pacers. Needless to say, they’ll be looking to snap that brief losing streak. But do you think Magic is telling the truth? Or, are we about to hear a full season’s worth of ‘LeBron James is running the team’ jokes, but about L.A. this time?
We’ll surely find out soon enough.