LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers lost in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Despite that, he still found a way to make headlines. He made an Instagram post showing a specific video clip from the movie Gladiator. In the video, Maximus told Commodus, “I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” He went on to caption his post by saying, “PROMISE YOU I WILL. Count me out if you want to!”
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How cryptic, but exciting to see how he backs it up.
LeBron James Wants Revenge, but Needs Help
It’s no secret LeBron will be looking for revenge next season, but is that realistic for him and the Lakers? Though fans can’t fathom the fact LeBron won’t be in the league forever; it’s time to accept he coming out of his prime.
Age is a Factor
LeBron will turn 37 years old in December. The 2021-22 season will be his 19th year in the NBA. In his three seasons in Los Angeles, he has battled a groin injury and an ankle injury, both kept him out for extended periods of time. His ankle injury this year lingered into the playoffs and affected his play. He wasn’t the same explosive player fans have been accustomed to seeing, and he wasn’t nearly as aggressive. Although he was a bit banged up, his production has stayed consistent. This season he averaged 25 points, 7.8 assists, and 7.7 rebounds. There is definitely a possibility that father time catches up with him; it’s going to happen eventually.
The West is Getting Better
After dominating the Eastern Conference for so many years, LeBron moved to the West, and it’s a different animal. Next year, there will be around six teams that could be contenders along with the Lakers. Denver will be back. They will have a Big 3 with Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter, and Jamal Murray coming off an injury. Dallas will always be in the mix if they have Luka Doncic, and they might be looking to acquire a second superstar. Phoenix will be dangerous with Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton. Utah surprisingly was the top seed in the west this year. They will be a force to be reckoned with as long as Donovan Mitchell is there. The Lakers will have to compete with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Clippers. Klay Thompson will be healthy and reunited with Stephen Curry, which means Golden State’s championship window could possibly reopen.
The Lakers Will Need a Third Guy
The Lakers will definitely have to find a third option behind LeBron and Anthony Davis. With competition in the West rising, LA will likely search for a third star to form a Big 3 of their own. It doesn’t have to be a superstar. This season the third option for the Lakers was Dennis Schroder. With LeBron getting older and AD being injury-prone, the Lakers are going to need high-level production from someone else. LA really needs to find more shooting and a quality big in the off-season. Damian Lillard may be available via trade. There are plenty of quality big men that could be acquired in free agency or trade. If they don’t end up making a move, their role players will have to step up if they want to win another championship.
In order to improve their shooting and guard play, the Lakers could look to sign Kyle Lowry, Patty Mills, Derrick Rose, or Lonzo Ball in free agency. To provide some solid rim protection, they could sign Richaun Holmes, Nerlens Noel, or bring back Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee.
LeBron James Must Back Up His Words
LeBron is arguably one of the greatest players of all time. He’s fully capable of winning another championship, he just needs a bunch of things to go his way. He usually doesn’t publicly voice his thoughts, but on two occasions where he has, his words have gotten the best of him. Back in 2010, when he joined the Miami Heat, he famously stated they would win “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” championships. That statement did not age very well, the Heat ended up settling for two championships. In his first season with the Lakers, while coming back from an injury, he announced he had “playoff mode activated” then proceeded to miss the playoffs. Now he’s publicly saying he will be back to wreak vengeance on the rest of the NBA. It’s time for him to back up his words.
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