The Los Angeles Lakers' reign as champions officially has an expiration date. They've been dethroned.
For just the second time since 2010, a LeBron James-led playoff team won't be appearing in the NBA Finals, as the seven-seeded Lakers -- bit by the injury bug once again -- were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns, 113-100, in Game 6 of their first-round series on Thursday night at Staples Center.
During Friday's edition of the Tiki and Tierney show, Tierney discussed the Lakers' first-round exit, while also explaining why James' interaction with one player after the game bordered on narcissistic.
"I understand that this was a real taxing year for LeBron James. Injuries? Absolutely. A quick turnaround from the bubble? Absolutely. Anthony Davis made of tissue paper? Absolutely... No doubt, no question," Tierney said. "LeBron not quite what he was? Absolutely. And I'm not going to get on him for diminished skill -- and it's there a little bit, you can see it, not quite the same player -- but in three days, we got a look at his character when things go awry. And that's an ugly look for somebody who's supposed to be the leader of community. He's an idol for so many.
"And don't feed me this nonsense -- because I got this on social media -- 'Well, he went over to see [Suns star] Devin Booker after the game and signed his jersey.' First of all, he signed the jersey -- he actually wrote a crown. He drew a crown. Who the hell does that? Michael Jordan would never do that. Kobe Bryant would never do that. You just sign your name... The picture with Devin Booker -- that's even worse. And I would still get on him for not shaking hands. No acknowledgement of an amazing achievement from a bunch of kids -- outside of CP3 -- who haven't done a damn thing in the league as a team... And you don't do it in the bowels of the arena where nobody can see it. There's symbolism. That matters.
"So, the picture with Booker, that's even more an illumination of his narcissistic ways... I'm so happy that he slinked off that court a loser last night. I'm thrilled. I'm thrilled his season's over. I'm thrilled I don't have to hear about LeBron James anymore... LeBron will not win again with the Lakers. Stephen A. Smith said that today, I said it a week and a half ago. If they didn't win this series, it's over... I'm thrilled. I'm tired of LeBron James. Done. Tired."
James, who averaged 23.3 points per game with 8.0 assists and 7.2 boards against the Suns, entered the playoffs with a perfect 14-0 record in first-round series during his career. It was also the first time in James' career that his team ever lost back-to-back games in the opening round.
The Suns, which won their first playoff series since 2010, will face the three-seeded Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. Game 1 of the series will take place on Monday night, with tipoff scheduled for 10 p.m. ET.
Tierney's complete thoughts on James and the Lakers can be accessed in the audio player above.