It took two weeks and five defeats and 852 points conceded, but LeBron James is starting to get mad and he’s not going to bite his tongue any longer.
After preaching patience ever since his arrival in Los Angeles, that virtue has finally worn thin for James following a 124-120 defeat at Minnesota on Monday night that dropped the team to 2-5.
“We talk about patience but you can’t have reoccurrence of the same thing,” James told reporters. “If you are doing the same things over and over and over and expecting the same result then that’s insanity.
“So we have to get better. We can’t keep having the same mistakes over and over.”
Defensively, the Lakers have been unable to get critical stops when needed in virtually all of this season’s defeats. Preventing the opposition from going on scoring runs has been an issue, as has holding onto late leads. The Timberwolves were allowed 20 offensive rebounds on Monday and got to the free-throw line twice as often (30 to 15) as the Lakers.
James knew he would be spearheading a building project with an eye firmly on the future when he switched Cleveland for California, but he’s sick of losing with such frequency and has no interest in seeing the early-season trend continue.
“You probably don’t want to be around when my patience runs out,” James added. “I’m serious.”
Many of the mistakes have been a result of the inexperience in the squad, but the Lakers’ youngest members have also shown serious potential and can be expected to improve over the course of the campaign. For James, that progress can’t happen quickly enough.
L.A.’s gloomy record could have looked a whole lot brighter but for some tiny margins. In an overtime loss at home to San Antonio, James missed two key free throws and a potential game-winner. In the Lakers’ home opener, things were in the balance until the Rajon Rondo-Chris Paul punch-up.
The squad is now fully stocked again now with Rondo and Brandon Ingram back from suspensions. With five of the team’s next seven games at home, there will be pressure to get the chemistry fixed soon and get on pace in the Western Conference.
“We got to figure it out,” James said. “It is not one guy. We are all in this together, so, we got to figure it out. We got another one on Wednesday (against Dallas) on our home floor and we got to be really good.”