By Tiyani Rikhotso
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 1 of VARSITY News.
Known to many as the greatest basketball player of all time, LeBron James is in his 16th season and it looks like he will be missing the playoffs this year. This will be the first time in 14 years and it comes after his move from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the L.A. Lakers. Many are unhappy about this move and feel as though he should have gone to a team that was already constructed to contend for a championship.
The last time Lebron James missed the playoff… I was a teenager 😱 #PlayoffsWithoutLBJ
— R.A.D (@xrackox) March 9, 2019
Many forces contributed to the position that LeBron now finds himself in. Firstly, his move to the Lakers took him out of the Eastern conference which he had played in for his entire career. The season started with him out of his comfort zone and up against the more challenging Western conference. Secondly, an injury to his groin put a strain on his performance and saw him out for 17 games. This was the longest stretch he had missed during his career and he came back with his explosive energy taking a hit and weighing in 30 pounds over his normal playing weight. Post-injury, LeBron’s performance cost the Lakers significantly. We saw them tumble away from the 4th seed status they had managed to secure after their impressive win against the Golden State Warriors to barely standing a chance of making the playoffs.
The last time LeBron James missed the playoffs, XBox 360 and Guitar Hero weren’t even a thing yet…#PlayoffsWithoutLBJ
— Winston A. Marshall (@TheSwaggyBlerd) March 8, 2019
Many had hoped he would have been able to carry this young team as he did the Cavs for the past two seasons. But it seems that in between LeBron’s own strained performance, the suspensions or lengthy injuries of several other teammates, and tense team dynamics, the Lakers are too far gone.
All hope is not lost until the team is mathematically eliminated. Considering the tough roster that the team is up against, their challenges thus far and seasons predictions, it seems that not even LeBron can muster up enough magic to bring the Lakers into the postseason.