LeBron has a gravitational pull
The Lakers have been getting a lot of attention lately because of the recent turbulences within their organization. Frank Vogel is on the verge of losing his jobs; Westbrook is slowly but surely losing the coaching staff's trust that he can deliver in crunch moments during games, and it will take several more weeks until Anthony Davis gets back to the starting lineup.
On the other hand, LeBron is playing great basketball, dominating games, but it didn't translate to the Lakers getting more wins. Other players need to step up big time, and this is why they are facing harsh criticism from the media and the fans. Kevin Love, who was LeBron's teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers, knows better than anyone what it takes to be on the same team as LeBron and underperforming when the stakes are so high.
In a recent podcast with JJ Redick, Love explained why playing with LeBron has its downsides in terms of exposure and having a lot of attention on all the good and bad things that happen on the team. The Lakers being the most popular basketball franchise in the world doesn't help either, with numerous fans and media members covering them non-stop.
"I always said that Bron has a gravitational pull. The media, people that love him, people that hate him, people that love and hate the Lakers; everybody focuses on that, so any step in the wrong direction, and people will just take that and just grind away on it. It's tough and obviously a massive media market, and everyone expects the Lakers to do great things having a big three. Even with AD being out, they expect things from them, but it's tough."
The Lakers will make some changes soon
Love said that the main reason this happens on any team LeBron plays for is the sheer fact he is one of the greatest players in NBA history. He is still on track to break more records and chase championships, so naturally, everyone is focused on his every move. Interestingly enough, he also said some players are used as scapegoats when things turn ugly, and we might see it happen with the Lakers as well if they don't rack up a few wins in a row soon.
"He is the greatest player of our generation, and in the GOAT talks, people will going to follow his every move. So his team, if someone is underperforming or someone is messing up the Lakers season, so they say they are going to be the scapegoat. I would be surprised if they figured it out after the all-star break. I do feel like they will make some noise, but how far will they go, I don't know, but I think some of the expectations and the scrutiny is I'm not going to say, unwarranted but in some ways unfair because you have to see how it plays out."
The pressure playing with LeBron and for the Lakers is the worst type of scenario for a struggling player on the basketball court. The scrutiny and criticism come alongside it, and you have to be mentally strong to overcome that. Love witnessed it firsthand during his struggles when he had to adjust his playing style to fit the Cavs, limiting his impact. The Lakers are not looking good at the moment, but there are still many games to be played, and a lot of teams start figuring things out after the All-Star break. That also might happen for the Lakers, but the urgency is to win a championship now. Perhaps they will look to make the necessary changes on the roster before the trade deadline to improve their chances before the playoffs officially start.