During the offseason, the Lakers brought in a ton of play makers so that LeBron wouldn’t have to carry the ball as often as he did in Cleveland. Unfortunately, old habits die hard with LeBron who has been the primary ball handler all season.
Last week during an interview with Sirius XM, Lakers President of Basketball operations Magic Johnson reiterated that he wanted LeBron to handle the ball less.
Via NBC Sports
“We are trying to make sure that we watch his minutes but also that we don’t run everything through him because now it is Cleveland all over again and we don’t want that,” . “We want to get up and down.”
Basically minutes, trying to make sure we don’t overplay him and then also usage of the ball in his hands,” Johnson told SiriusXM NBA Radio. “We got a lot of ball handlers so we feel we won’t overuse him in terms of his ballhandling and also every play has to run through him. I think we got proven scorers — Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram … and then when you have two point guards like Ball and Rondo, we don’t have to have LeBron having the ball in his hands all the time.”
During a Lakers’ All-Access event on Monday, Kobe Bryant also chimed in and said he wanted to see LeBron get some of the other guys on the team involved more often.
Via The Athletic
At the beginning of the season, you saw a collection of individual talent trying to figure out what they can do and where they can do it on the floor,” Bryant said. “What about their games? But at the same time how to figure out how to make those games blend in as a group. You can’t have one before the other, see what I’m saying? So it’s a test of Bron’s patience, and also doing what he needs to do to keep the team’s head above water. So it’s a balancing act.
On Tuesday, LeBron spoke to the media and told them that he understands what Kobe and Magic are saying but that he is who he is.
“I don’t know what asking me to do too much is, to be honest… I understand the logic behind what Magic and Kobe are saying because we want to grow the young guys… But, I mean, Magic and Kobe know who I am. I know who I am They know what they’re going to get out of me. That is, you know what you’re going to get out of me every game… When it’s really, really, really money time, you know who is going to be there.”
As long as LeBron can still play the way he can it doesn’t appear that he’s going to relinquish control anytime soon.