LeBron is exceptional this season, but there are always things to complain about his production. In this case, one of his notorious haters has highlighted one of his big weaknesses… while suggesting that the King no longer cares about the collective results.
When you see him on the floors of the big league, it’s hard to believe that LeBron James has indeed turned 37 for a few weeks. The winger is the league’s second-leading scorer behind Kevin Durant, and his average of 28.8 points per game is his highest since the 2009-10 season. On top of that, he adds 7.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists every night! Facing the Pacers (110-104 defeat), the Laker still tried everything to win his team with 30 points, 12 shots and 5 assists.
Impressive figures therefore, especially in attack. But precisely, the latter tend to hide the fact that the King saves a little (a lot) in defense, and this for several seasons already. Skip Bayless, notorious detractor of No. 6, wanted to remind everyone on Fox Sports recently. In his eyes, the collective record no longer interests the player, but simply the fact of becoming the best scorer in history:
Skip Bayless takes down LeBron James again
LeBron’s sole focus is now catching Kareem and resting on the defensive end. If LeBron’s acting as GM, he should’ve pushed for fresh, young legs on defense not Carmelo, Ariza and Westbrick. @Undisputed, 9:30 AM-Noon ET. FS1.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 20, 2022
I’m sorry, but LeBron has been different this year. He went from being the defender and driving force behind a team ranked first in defensive efficiency to 207ᵉ in defensive win shares. They fell in the middle of the pack in defense and it cost them dearly. He does nothing in his half of the field.
For me, LeBron’s only concern now is catching up Kareem in the scorer standings and to rest defensively. LeBron will have his breaks from time to time and he will have moments on defense, but this team is going as it is on both sides of the floor and I’m sorry, but they don’t play defense. So if LeBron is acting as GM, he should have pushed for young and good defenders, not Carmelo, Ariza and Westbrick.
It’s a fact, LBJ wants to overtake Abdul-Jabbar in career scoring. He has yet to clear the Karl Malone hurdle, but he is evolving at such a pace that he could well leave the two legends behind by the end of the 2022-23 campaign. It will then be his 20th season… in other words, he will focus even less on defense, which is however a sieve on the LA side. The Purples and Golds struggling severely (22-23, 8ᵉ in the West), it is not the most reassuring.
Skip Bayless criticizes LeBron James as usual, but the fact that the Chosen One defends much less than in the past is indisputable. It’s up to the player to show that he can raise his level in his half of the field at crucial moments! Especially if he goes to the playoffs.