Trevor, appreciate the time. How are you?
How are you? I know if you asked LeBron this question, he would say no, but no one thought really, especially early on in the season, even midway through the season that we'd be talking about the Lakers and the Western Conference Finals. I view this as a successful season, but when you have LeBron, you get this close, but yet so far, you know, it just brings out a bunch of different type of emotions. Oh, sure.
Yeah. I mean, look, you when you get to this point, there's always going to be disappointment that they didn't go far, that they did, that they were so close to an 18 championship and they didn't, didn't get the job done. But then when you step back and you look at the context of the season, you look at the two intense stars, you look at the 13th seed at the trade deadline, they move up to seventh to start the post season.
They have to go through the play and to get there and then making the push all the way to the Western Conference Finals, essentially with the team that had been together for two months because they, they had added so many pieces at the trade deadline. It really is remarkable that they got as far as they did. So that disappointment is certainly there.
But in the big picture context, I agree with you. I think it was definitely a successful season. What an incredible turnaround from them. And, and now they head into an off season with a little bit of momentum in addition to, you know, plenty of question marks. And really Rob Palenka, Trevor Lane showed you a lot this year, the way that he salvaged this season with some of the moves he made.
Yeah. He took such a huge gamble, such a huge gamble. You know, everything that I've heard, everyone I've spoken to have confirmed that the night before media day, way back at the beginning of the season, they had an opportunity to trade Russell Westbrook, both their first round picks 2027 to 2029 for Miles Turner and Buddy Heel. That was the deal that was there for them. And they opted not to do it. They took the gamble that they would find something better or at least comparable during the season.
And they could at least tread water until then. Now it took them a while to get to that point, but I was surprised that they found a deal as, as strong as they did getting D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jared Vanderbilt, adding Rui Hachimura. They really made some big moves at the trade deadline and just a bit before, and you got to give them credit. It was a risk, but I think it paid off in the end and Rob Palenka and that Lakers front office, they found a way to get the pieces they needed to make a real push here.
So you got to give them credit for that. Trevor Lane here with us. So last night you hear all the retirement speculation and how much he's going to contemplate it from LeBron James and the follow-up interviews with a bunch of different outlets. I don't buy it for a single second, Trevor, whether it's him just trying to distract people from the sweep or maybe use it as leverage to get Kyrie in Los Angeles, where do you stand on this thought that LeBron may actually walk away after this season?
Yeah, I don't buy it either for a lot of reasons. I mean, he's got, he's got two years and like a hundred million dollars left on his contract. That's a lot even for a billionaire.
That's a lot of money to walk away from. You've got also the fact that he already said he thinks he's better than 90 or 95% of the NBA right now, which he's probably not wrong about. That doesn't exactly suggest that he needs to hang him up anytime soon.
Certainly not this season. And then you figure factor in, you know, how much he put in to trying to win game four, how much he pushed himself, the emotions behind these series, taking out the Golden State Warriors in the previous round that weighs heavily. And sometimes you get an emotional response in those moments. And if I was, as Darvin Ham said this morning, he said, look, if I was LeBron in that situation, I would have been thinking about retiring too.
Um, because that was, that's just an emotional situation to go through and to invest that much. It's hard to, in that moment, think, wow, now I'm going to have to rehab all summer on my foot and then get back and try to gut fight through a grueling season again. I don't think he's actually retiring. I think it is happening sooner rather than later. I think it's on his mind, but I can't see that being the enemy and LeBron James going out without even a sendoff or anything like that. I can't imagine that happening. Trevor lane is Kyrie Irving going to be on the Lakers next year?
The math, the logistics of it. Tell me. No.
Right. I mean, if you look at just the hurdles, you'd have to clear to get him to LA, whether you want to try to sign him as a free agent, whether you want to try and do the infamous double sign and trade with the Angelo Russell or something like that with the Dallas Mavericks, logistically, it's so hard to get that done. And yet there's Kyrie showing up the Lakers games and now LeBron with the retirement thing, is this, you know, trying to put pressure on the front office.
It does leave that little bit of room to wonder, is there something to this now? Again, everything we've heard is that he's probably going to stick with the Dallas Mavericks, but until he puts pen to paper, we're going to be hearing Kyrie to the Lakers rumors all the way through. I still think ultimately the math tells us it's not going to happen, but you just never know when it's LeBron and it's Kyrie, will they figure out some kind of way to make it happen?
So I know that's a non-answer, but if I had to bet on it, I'd say no, but I can't say that with certainty. Where is the Laker fan at in their confidence level with Anthony Davis? You know, it's pretty, pretty low. I think right now in part of that is just, you know, the disappointment of, of game four, the disappointment of the series, but there's frustration that, you know, Hey, Anthony Davis is supposed to be the one, a guy he's supposed to be the guy that takes the torch from LeBron James and leads this franchise into the future. And he just hasn't been consistent enough on the offensive end of the floor to do that. Um, so defensively, he's been great night in night out. I think he's been arguably the best defensive player in the post season.
He's been phenomenal, but offensively, he hasn't been the guy out there every single night. And so Lakers fans are a bit frustrated with that. I've seen some people saying trade Anthony Davis. I think that's going too far, but I think reality is for this Lakers franchise, you probably have to look moving forward at a post LeBron era at finding another player to put with them either as a co star as it were, or as they, as kind of a true one, a guy, but Anthony Davis be the one B player because just doesn't seem like he can produce on the offensive end of these on a night to night basis. Trevor land. We talked about the retirement speculation with LeBron and we're both on the same page.
It'll be back next season. Do you think there's a way that he tries to get out of LA at all and forces himself to a different team? I mean, if he went to the Lakers and said, Hey, you know, I don't want to do this anymore.
Please trade me, which I would be shocked. I mean, his son is going to be playing at USC. He's so big on family. I wouldn't imagine him wanting to be away from his family, but if he, if he were to do that, then I would, I think the Lakers would accommodate him. They would do what they needed to do in order to trade him. There's been talk about does he retire and set out a year and then unretired and come back when, you know, when Bronny hits the NBA, his son, there's speculation about that too. But I don't think he would want to leave the Lakers at this point. I he's been, he's spoken glowingly of the Lakers and the organization of the franchise. And I think he really feels at home in Southern California. I'd be very shocked if he, if he pushed his way to another franchise at this point, maybe when he's got a player option in 2024, he ops out and then goes and signs with whatever team drafts his son.
That's certainly possible. But if assuming LeBron plays in the NBA next season, I would say it's a very, very strong likelihood that it that's with the Lakers and Trevor lane. I also saw that after the game, he said David Benjamin, just because that's my aspiration to my goal doesn't mean that it's his.
And I'm absolutely okay with that. Talking about potentially playing one day with his son, Bronny, I wonder behind the scenes and maybe Bronny was like, Hey dad, let's cool, cool it out with that chatter about me playing with you. Cause that's, that's gotta be tough going into the league and you get your dad in your locker room, especially when you know, your father's LeBron James on the greatest players of all time, right?
I mean, you're, you're first year in the NBA and you got to hang out with your dad all the time. Probably not what Bronny envisioned. And you know, LeBron softened his stance on that a few months ago, started saying, instead of saying, I want to play on the same team as him, started talking about, you know, I want to be on the court at the same time as him suggesting maybe they could be on opposing teams. But yeah, I do wonder how Bronny actually feels about that, that possibility about having, having his dad around all the time that, but not exactly the, the type of scenario that most, you know, 19, 20 year olds want, want to be in. Yeah. And also I think the injury part of this is fascinating to Trevor Lane with LeBron because for so many years, he was a warrior. He didn't miss any real, really any games that he comes to Los Angeles and he's dealt with a lot of injuries.
I wonder how much that's weighing on them too. Yeah, sure. I mean, he's, you know, that's, that's what happens, happens to the best of us. As you get older, you tend to pick up injuries more.
You, you heal slower, all of that kind of stuff. And, uh, and you could see it, he was exhausted by the end of game four. He talked to us after the games that I'm going to have to get an MRI on his foot because he did have the doctor that told him, yeah, you can continue playing this season. Uh, but if they go in and they, they do an MRI on his foot and it's that tendon has not healed properly, he's going to need surgery on that. And so maybe he's looking at rehabbing that's foot injury over the off season to all of that has got to, uh, has got a way on him as he's feeling, you know, he's not, he's not 28 at this point where he can play every single night and just fly up and down the floor.
He's got to pick and choose a spot a bit more, and that's only going to become more and more of a thing. The older that he gets, just one last thing, going back to the game last night, the last two possessions, I thought they took way too long on the second to last possession. Then you had the turnover and on the last one, I was surprised they didn't take a three and LeBron was trying to drive at the end down to really run it out of gas. Um, I thought they would have went for a three there, but they didn't, you know what?
I thought the same thing. I thought they waited way too long on that second to last possession. I was doing the play by play on that game and I said the exact same thing.
I said, they're waiting too long to get into this, into whatever it is that they're going to do. The last possession, it was a little bit ironic because over the course of the last few seasons, Lakers fans have been complaining about late game shots, LeBron settling for step back threes and saying he needs to drive to the basket. And in that moment he drove to the back. He did what all Lakers fans have been hoping he would do, but it was in a situation where maybe it would have been better to go for the three. So a little bit ironic in that moment. But, uh, but yeah, it didn't, didn't work out the way the Lakers wanted to certainly. And, uh, and I think you're on the money with that, that criticism there.
I think it's, it's very fair. Make sure you check them out at Trevor underscore lane, host of Laker nation, and also the front office show. Trevor, always great to connect with you. Thanks so much. Hey, thanks for having me, Jack. Appreciate it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-23 20:37:25 / 2023-05-23 20:43:26 / 6