The Los Angeles Lakers are headed toward another disappointing finish, and ESPN NBA reporter Brian Windhorst says LeBron James deserves his share of the blame.
Analyzing the Lakers' situation on an ESPN morning show on Wednesday, Windhorst said the team's aging roster is "exhausted" and now at the end of what he described as a four-year cycle -- a pattern which has marked James' decorated tenure in the league.
“LeBron’s career operates in four-year increments," Windhorst said on Get Up! "He wears his team out. I call it organizational fatigue. It happened the first time in Cleveland. They ran out of draft picks, they had a bunch of guys in their mid-30s. Shaq close to the finish line, Antawn Jamison ...
“He goes to Miami -- four years, great run, they run out of draft picks. In his last game, three guys retired after the game. He goes to Cleveland, four years, great run. They run out of draft picks. They got old guys. Here we are in L.A., fourth year. The oldest team we’ve seen in NBA history, they’re out of draft picks, they’re exhausted.”
While LeBron remains an ageless wonder, the Lakers have unloaded countless talented young players in recent years to build a veteran team around him, including in the deal that brought Anthony Davis to Los Angeles from the New Orleans Pelicans.
While the Davis deal paid early dividends with a championship in 2020, the future is decidedly murky with the Lakers having the oldest roster in the league.
Windhorst sees an exit from the Lakers as James' best bet to win again, but he doesn't think it's in the offing.
“I don’t think he wants to move,” Windhorst added. “He wants to have his cake and eat it, too.”