Skip to main content

Lakers management's message to LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook ”This is your choice, make it work”


For years, LeBron James signed fundamentally one-year deals (1+1) that he would use as leverage to make the front office do whatever he wanted to improve the team before the trade deadline. This year, LeBron did the same with his press conference after the Bucks wiped the floor with the Lakers....and he got a middle finger from Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss.

No moves

As we found out, the Lakers had several versions of a Wall-Westbrook trade on the table. One would involve draft considerations, and the other involved Christian Wood. Still, the Lakers decided not to pull the trigger. The draft pick would be in 2027, sacrificing even more future for the present, and bringing Wood in would mean a lot more luxury tax. Ramona Shelbourne translated what the decision not to make a move meant.

”The Lakers front office, and that includes ownership, decided 'You guys got yourself into this, this is the bed you made. LeBron, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, all the future Hall of Famers. This is your choice of roster and team, go make it work. We are not going to mortgage our future because this team isn't working yet.'”

Ramona Shelbourne, The Hoop Collective

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Both versions of the trade were not acceptable for the Lakers, and it was the right call to make. Who knows what the team will look like in 2027, and will LeBron be on it. (Depends on where Bronny is drafted, I guess). And the Lakers may be one of the most valuable franchises, according to Forbes, but they are the primary business of the Buss family. Billion-dollar valuations are only a number until you sell them; in the meantime, cash flow is what keeps you going, and the Lakers were always known as a very cash flow careful team, to put it mildly.

With power comes responsibility

We've mentioned this several times. Influential players put pressure on organizations to make win-now moves, basically go all-in, and when the run is over leave because they have no more chips to put on the table. LeBron pushed Miami to mortgage their future for the present, and soon as Wade's knees were done, he left town.

The same thing happened in Cleveland. Trade out all young players and draft picks for veteran players, and when it was time to replenish the asset base, he was gone to Los Angeles. The difference now is that LeBron has a multi-year deal with the Lakers - he's signed through '22/'23. He can't escape and has to face the music that LeGM composed.

Laker Nation doesn't want to hear it, but insiders are already announcing the Lakers aren't confident they'll move Westbrook in the summer. They will only be able to make the same offer they had this trade deadline, and we've seen where that got them.

For the first time in his career, LeBron will have to face the consequences of his team-building power. I guess we are all witnesses.

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James on the floor vs. Dallas Mavericks

LeBron James admits 2011 Finals loss vs. Dallas Mavericks was the toughest one in his career

LeBron opened up on what the catastrophic 2011 Finals loss taught him.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverly and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James

“The taxes are much, much lower than L.A.” — Patrick Beverley tries to recruit LeBron James to Minnesota

Patrick Beverley named several formidable reasons why LeBron James should go to Minnesota.

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Luka Doncic on his first WCF appearance: “I’m living the best life right now”

Will Luka Doncic continue to live his best life? Or will the Golden State Warriors make it hell for him in the next following days?

Klay Thompson takes a long pause before answering a Luka Doncic question

Klay Thompson takes a long pause before answering a Luka Doncic question

Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors know how to win against teams led by generational stars

X-factors in Mavs-GSW series: Spencer Dinwiddie, Andrew Wiggins

X-factors in Dallas Mavericks-Golden State Warriors series: Spencer Dinwiddie, Andrew Wiggins

Dinwiddie and Wiggins have now found their homes with the Mavs and the Warriors, respectively. It's now up to them to repay that trust.

Tony Parker just wanted to make it to the NBA, and ended up becoming a legend in the process

Tony Parker shares what made it so hard to make it in the NBA as a European point guard back in the day

Tony Parker accomplished so much throughout his illustrious career, but his only goal initially was just to make it in the NBA

John Salley compares Luka Doncic to Larry Bird

John Salley says he would fear Luka Doncic the same way he feared Larry Bird

It might be too early to draw parallels between Larry Bird and Luka Doncic. But according to John Salley, both possess the same fear factor on the court.


Patrick Beverly disrespects the 2020 Lakers championship: "The Bubble Championship"

LeBron might think that was one of the hardest championships to win in NBA history, but Pat Bev is not having it!