LeBron James was not at his best during Lakers’ penultimate preseason fixture against the Phoenix Suns. During the 112-107 win, he registered 11 points after 15 minutes on the court. The performance has led to Skip Bayless criticise the four-time NBA champion for being out of shape with the season start not far away.
Kyle Kuzma stole the show during Lakers’ win with 23 points but the spotlight still was on their ace player who was contesting in his first game. In the absence of LeBron, 20-year-old Talen Horton has been filling in and leading the franchise to wins over the Los Angeles Clippers.
He was 4-10 from the field and clearly did not push himself to the full gear with this only being a preseason game.
Skip Bayless, the prominent sports columnist rebuted that LeBron was completely out of shape for the game.
“LeBron looked shockingly out of condition to me and I did not see that coming. It’s one thing to play HORSE in the backyard with Bronny. It’s another to play an NBA basketball game, even preseason against the Suns.” Skip said following the end of the match
LeBron James coming off a long historic season
The former Cleveland Cavaliers player played a crucial role in delivering the NBA Championship to the franchise for the first time since 2010. After a disappointing first season, LeBron steered the team to the title and was awarded the NBA MVP award for his efforts.
With the Lakers being branded as the overwhelming favourites to defend their crown, LeBron still has a huge role to play to justify that tag. Lakers were the last team to exit the bubble and as a result have obtained a minimal offseason break.
Another reason in the lack of intensity in LeBron James’ game is due to the fact that he wants to avoid any potential injury at such a crucial juncture.
The franchise are in good shape ahead of the 2020-21 season after having tied down their ace stars to relatively long-term cash rich deals.