The Los Angeles Lakers are the talk of the town these days. But once again, it’s not necessarily for their good performance. Ex-NBA player Carlos Arroyo keeps tabs on the Purple and Gold, especially his former teammate LeBron James, and it's not a pretty sight to see.
The Miami Heat Connection
Arroyo became teammates with James in his first year in South Beach. The Puerto Rican basketball legend experienced firsthand LeBron’s will to win. And it’s difficult for Arroyo to see the King struggling.
“I feel bad for Bron, man,” Arroyo said. “I played with Bron in Miami, and you guys played with Bron. You know how serious he is about the game. You know how determined he is about winning. He cares. I know he’s struggling. I know he has to be struggling in that locker room. He’s putting on the great face of being a professional. I don’t think he deserves what he’s going through at this point in his career. But I would say he’s a great leader. Hopefully, he turns things around over there,” Arroyo said, per Road Trippin’.
After laughing out loud, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye agreed with Arroyo’s thoughts. James went to LA because he knows, as well as everyone, that the Lakers are all about winning. There’s a good reason why they are tied with the Boston Celtics with the most NBA titles at 17. They succeeded in 2020. But Arroyo knows that James isn’t satisfied with a single ring. He wants more. Unfortunately, the Lakers are nowhere near contention.
Weighing in on Westbrook
Arroyo went on to chime in on Westbrook’s fit with James. What he said isn’t new. Even fans — who don’t have Arroyo’s keen eye for basketball — knew it was an experiment bound to fail. Westbrook is not the player James needs to win.
“I don’t think, as far as Westbrook, I don’t think it’s the right fit for that team from the beginning. I don’t believe he was the right fit. Bron needs some shooters around him and some slashers and some players who understand their role. Westbrook needs the ball in his hands, I would say 80% of the time, to be Westbrook,” Arroyo said.
The game plan seems simple enough - maybe because it is. Many analysts pointed out that all Rob Pelinka had to do was look at LeBron’s Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers championship teams to see how to build a team around the King properly. But alas, the Lakers front office doesn’t seem to have any basketball sense. And now they’re wasting James’ last years in the NBA.