Former NBA player JJ Redick came to LeBron James’ defense over his recent debacles with the struggling super team in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
LeBron James’ team life cycle’s in question, JJ Redick defends
On “The Old Man & the Three” podcast during a conversation about the dynamic of super teams, JJ Redick said:
“We haven’t seen a guy like LeBron (James) play at this level for this long, so, of course, there’s gonna be a life cycle to every team he’s on. There’s no John Stockton, Karl Malone duo that exists anymore. There’s no loyalty in this thing.”
Redick’s comments defended James and also raised awareness to the changes happening in the league. The conversation around what success is for a team is changing, according to Redick, and teams are focusing on championships immediately.
“You can’t necessarily point to one thing. Whether it’s player movement, teams not being loyal, everybody’s so hungry for a championship. The discourse around what is a successful season and an unsuccessful season for nearly every team now is about a championship, or are we bottoming out to build for a championship.
“And so, the life cycle of teams is inherently going to be shorter.”
Redick talked about how NBA teams are going to go to any lengths to fully extend themselves for championships. There is little loyalty from the players or coaches in the league at the moment, according to JJ. He said everyone is more focused on getting a championship to reach that elite level of player.
When asked about his opinion on super teams being built, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant explained when he believes is the right time to go for broke:
“I feel like, when you have a player that’s reached elite status in this game, where he can just control the game, that’s when you should go for it. You got the top five player in the league. It’s like, ‘Alright, I know I have something to lean on at the end of games. Like, let’s build around this.”
The LA Lakers organization must have felt that the time was right. The Lakers basically gave James free reign to do exactly that this season.
KD said, not specifically in regard to the Lakers but to super teams in general, that it is harder ego- and money-wise for super squads to compete well together. JJ Redick said that’s another example of the lack of loyalty in the league.
In committing to the big names, the Lakers had to sacrifice key players for their future development. James has been criticized for sacrificing the future for a squad that could not even make the postseason.
James and Los Angeles stand with a broken super team that has zero picks in 2022 and not many answers for the troubles. Of course, Anthony Davis being injured was arguably a large reason for the lackluster results, but their season can’t be chalked up to one player being injured.
Westbrook has a $47.1 million player option for the 2022-23 season, while Austin Reaves and Stanley Johnson have team options. James is entering the final season of his contract, while Davis has a $43.2 million player option for 2024-25.
The Lakers did almost exactly what Durant outlined a team should do when they want to pull the trigger. But LA missed their target this season.
James now stands with many decisions to make. His son, Bronny, will be entering the league in two years, and James has said he plans to play with his son no matter what it takes.
What would it mean for the squad if he was to leave? What would that mean for the fans?