On Amazon’s alternate TNF stream, LeBron James discussed the Packers’ inability to help Aaron Rodgers, mirroring his own frustrations with the Lakers.
On Thursday night, Amazon aired an alternative stream to the TNF game between the Green Bay Packers and the Tennessee Titans, featuring HBO’s The Shop. Guest of the program, LeBron James, shared some not-so-cryptic thoughts about Aaron Rodgers’s supporting cast that had people wondering if the Lakers superstar was only talking about something other than football.
LeBron James’s comments during Thursday Night Football
During the TNF stream of The Shop, James discussed his admiration for Rodgers, calling him a once-in-a-generation talent. But things turned interesting when he questioned why the Packers would sign him to a three-year, $150 million contract and not surround him with any weapons on offense.
In response, James was asked if he was talking about football or basketball. The group laughed, but James, whether blatantly or subconsciously, was referencing his own situation on the Lakers. And he responded by claiming that “it definitely translates.”
LeBron James’s situation with the Los Angeles Lakers
James joined the Lakers in 2018. The following year, the team traded Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis. The blockbuster trade was an obvious effort to win now, sacrificing much of the future to support LeBron James.
The deal paid off when the Lakers won an NBA Championship in 2020. In 2021, the Lakers made moves again (largely at the behest of James) to support his title chase when they dealt Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and the draft rights to Isaiah Jackson to the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook.
The Westbrook trade never panned out, as the team stylistically doesn’t fit together. Couple this with Davis’s prolonged bouts of injury, and these trades look like abject failures.
This past offseason, the Lakers looked for a way to bring Kyrie Irving to Los Angeles, but the Nets weren’t in a position to move the controversial star. This failure to fix the Westbrook situation is at the core of James’s frustration. Never mind the fact that his own pressure and recommendation is what brought him to the Lakers in the first place.
Further, like Aaron Rodgers inking a massive deal that put the Packers in a complicated situation from a salary cap perspective to bring in a supporting cast, the Lakers have limited cap space with James, Westbrook, and Davis under contract, having also depleted their roster to trade for them in the first place.
James’s frustration continues to grow with the organization, but so far this season the Lakers seem unwilling to further gamble away their future on a team that doesn’t look ready to compete in the competitive Western Conference.