In the wake of a 22-25 point collapse in Bismarck, North Dakota last weekend, Western Conference teams have been struggling to stay afloat. But with an opportunity for redemption looming on the horizon against Portland this Saturday night there’s still plenty at stake as we enter February
“We Needed That to Spark Something in Us” is a quote by Dwayne Johnson. The quote describes how the spark of motivation can be found even in the most difficult times.
On a day when the bulk of sports fans were likely focused on the NFL, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers made headlines and sparked a social media frenzy.
James got into a fight with Detroit Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart, which ended in Stewart’s face being covered in blood and both players being dismissed. The Lakers, on the other hand, rallied behind The King and won 121-116.
Of course, James’ altercation with Stewart was the most memorable aspect of the game, but Carmelo Anthony’s post-game remarks were nearly as surprising.
Carmelo Anthony spoke about the LeBron James-Isaiah Stewart brawl.
With 9:18 remained in the third quarter of a game against the Pistons on Nov. 21, James hit Stewart in the face while competing for rebounding position. At the moment, the Pistons were leading the Lakers 79-67.
Stewart confronted James after the play and then attempted to rush up to him many times while being held back by teammates. Blood was also dripping down his face.
James was subsequently given a flagrant 2 and dismissed, while Stewart was given two technical fouls and removed.
The Lakers, on the other hand, rallied to win 121-116.
Carmelo Anthony made some fascinating remarks after the game.
He told Spectrum SportsNet, “We could have easily let the game slip away, or continue to let the game slide away, but as a team, we needed to come together at that time.” “What occurred, the event, the circumstance, was sad, but we needed something like that to rekindle our passion.” We haven’t had anything like that to put us to the test physically this year. And I believe that, although what occurred tonight was awful, it was just what we needed to ignite something in us. “And it worked.”
Carmelo Anthony’s remarks show that the Lakers’ problems are even deeper than we previously realized.
Carmelo Anthony of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the Houston Rockets on Nov. 2, 2021. | Getty Images/Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times
The aspect of Anthony’s remarks that concerned me the most was when he suggested the Lakers “wanted” something like LeBron James’ confrontation with Isaiah Stewart to happen. In basketball, and sports in general, there’s a concept that expelled players or coaches may set their team on fire. Why do you believe so many managers get ejected from MLB games?
And although that idea is nice and wonderful, the major issue for the Lakers is why they need anything like that to get them going in the first place. Shouldn’t their existing status be enough to keep them motivated?
LA came into the game with an 8-9 record, almost missing out on a playoff berth in the Western Conference. Countless fans and pundits have questioned their credibility.
“I believe LeBron has won his final championship.” “I believe it’s gone,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith stated on First Take yesterday, referring to his conviction that the Golden State Warriors are a superior squad. “It’s not because of LeBron. LeBron will continue to be LeBron. He’s going to return. He’s going to do what he’s going to do…. They’re not going to win any chips.”
Shouldn’t all that skepticism be enough to inspire the Lakers, who entered the NBA with championship aspirations and one of the greatest rosters in the league?
It seems that it isn’t, which means they’ll have to depend only on one guy who is really driven to win another championship: LeBron James.
The Lakers are too reliant on LeBron James.
The Lakers have shown that they are a hot mess without LeBron James through the first 18 games of the season.
The Lakers are 5-3 when The King is on the court, and they are 4-6 when he isn’t. So they not only have to wait for him to get into a fight before he can start playing half-decent basketball, but they also have to depend on him to win.
Fortunately for them, that huge flaw may turn out to be their greatest asset.
James has a knack for figuring things out. With his Big Three, his 2010-11 Miami Heat team went 9-8 in its first 17 games before going 58-24 and reaching the NBA Finals. James’ Cleveland Cavaliers finished the 2014-15 season with a 53-29 record and a trip to the NBA Finals.
The four-time NBA champion understands what it takes to succeed, even when surrounded by talent. The Lakers have the skill; they simply lack the camaraderie and, it seems, drive.
They still have as good a chance to win the NBA title as any team in the league if James is fit and fired up. They just need the world’s best player (arguably) to be the best player in the world.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
No Need to Worry: Three Reasons Why the Los Angeles Lakers Have Hope
“We Needed That to Spark Something in Us” is a quote about the importance of having something that can spark people’s interest. It is also used as a tagline for the movie, “The Internship”. Reference: a single spark quote.
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