Approximately one week ahead of the NBA trade deadline, LeBron James is out there doing that subtweet thing again. You know, the one where he passively-aggressively lets the Lakers' front office, the head coach and more than likely 95% of the roster know that the clock is ticking and he would probably prefer to see some changes be made.
In Season 21, however, King James didn't use some of his typically vague wording with the media that could be read several different ways. Instead, he opened the X app and went the emoji route — a singular emoji at that — using the "time's running out" hourglass.
This honestly might be his finest work yet. To say the following tweet has put everyone on notice, until further notice, would be the understatement of the year:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 31, 2024
Notice the time stamp of 2:26 a.m. EST in James' post. This ongoing seesaw of great wins and terrible losses — which has the Lakers sitting with a record of 24-25 — has clearly taken its toll and begun to keep the dude up at night. It's at the point he's gone ahead and made the executive decision to keep everyone else up at night.
The fact is, James has every right to be frustrated with the state of the Lakers. Following a spectacular 145-144 double-overtime win over the Warriors, where the Lakers escaped with the "W" despite 46 points from Steph Curry, the team has stumbled in its last two contests.
Getting manhandled by the Rockets and Hawks — both of which sit under .500 — on Monday and Tuesday immediately popped the air out of whatever momentum the team thought it had. When James spoke to the media following the loss in Houston, his self-awareness about what the Lakers really are was completely on point:
LeBron James on the 24-25 Lakers: ?We could on any given night beat any team in the NBA. And then on any given night we could get our ass kicked? pic.twitter.com/IlKra5XAmy
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 31, 2024
"We could, on any given night, beat any team in the NBA," James said. "And then, on any given night, we could get our ass kicked by any team in the NBA."
This doesn't sound like a head coaching problem as much as it does a personnel problem, but who really knows what the magic fix could be?
Nonetheless, the NBA sleuths are already hard at work, digging through the social media mud on various platforms in order to make sense of it all. It's more than safe to say that Lakers fans are super deep into this one, with several signs apparently pointing to head coach Darvin Ham:
All the signs are leading to HAM:
- LeBron?s time is up tweet
- Several player said ?it?s on the coach?
- Rui says ?You got know what you?re doing on the floor?
- Rich Paul liking C. Woods ?LOL? tweet on IG
- LeBron side eye & post game comment
- Phil Handy?s IG post ?The job? pic.twitter.com/Uk7xpsThUF
— Raquel ?? (@SOULbeautifulme) January 31, 2024
Have fun digesting that one. From what good friend and James agent Rich Paul "liked" on X, to reading into a telling side-eye from King James, it all sounds so exhausting to be a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Glass half-full? This will all be sorted out, one way or another, in some capacity by next week's Feb. 8 trade deadline. Best of luck to general manager Rob Pelinka, who probably found himself in a cold sweat after seeing 236 new texts and voicemails upon waking up Wednesday morning.
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