The talent is there; LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have what they need to win another NBA championship. However, not everyone is sold on their new-look roster, as many people have justified concerns.
Included on the list of people who aren’t too sure about the Lakers winning a title is James’ former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Channing Frye. In fact, Frye kept it 100% real when arguing why this current LA squad won’t win a championship.
LeBron James has new teammates on the LA Lakers
Heading into the 2021 offseason, the Lakers knew they needed to improve their roster. Sure, injuries kept them from advancing in the playoffs last season, but to compete with a healthy Brooklyn Nets squad, or to still have a chance at winning while banged up, LA needed to add more firepower.
That’s exactly what they have done within this past month.
The Lakers first decided to match what the Nets have by creating their own Big Three, as they traded for Russell Westbrook to team him up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They then added several shooters to put around them in Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, and Wayne Ellington. LA also signed a solid backup big man to play behind Davis in Dwight Howard.
However, age is the biggest concern when it comes to this roster. Just take a look at how old some of the Lakers’ core members are below.
- Carmelo Anthony: 37 years old
- LeBron James: 36, turns 37 in December
- Trevor Ariza: 36
- Marc Gasol: 36
- Dwight Howard: 35
- Wayne Ellington: 33
- Russell Westbrook: 32
- Kent Bazemore: 32
With age comes more injuries, which the Lakers struggled with last season, and that appears to be one of Frye’s biggest concerns.
LeBron James’ former Cavs teammate Channing Frye has doubts about LA
LeBron James won a championship with Channing Frye on the Cavs when Frye played in Cleveland with him for parts of three seasons from 2015-16 through 2017-18.
But just because they have a special bond doesn’t mean The King gets a free pass. James’ former teammate has concerns about the Lakers’ collective age and how that may lead to potential injuries.
“I love Bron. I love AD. I like Melo. I like Russell Westbrook. It is 2021; there’s not enough balls to go around. … In the playoffs, it’s a big ‘what-if,’” Frye said on the Aug. 19 episode of his Road Trippin’ podcast, per Sports Illustrated. “This old a– team has to make it 82 games to the playoffs.”
Frye admitted that LA’s roster is probably one of the best in the NBA and that they would have a great chance to win it all if fully healthy. Their health, though, is the biggest question-mark.
However, the Lakers don’t seem too worried about how old they are and how that could affect their availability; they’re ready to win an NBA championship.
The Lakers’ players don’t seem too worried
Despite the outside noise from guys on ESPN and even their former teammates, LeBron James and his fellow Lakers stars don’t seem too worried about how old they are.
“Keep talking about my squad, our personnel ages, the way he plays, he stays injured, we’re past our time in this league, etc etc etc,” James said in a since-deleted tweet, per the New York Post. “Do me one favor PLEASE!!!! And I mean PLEASE!!! Keep that same narrative ENERGY when it begins! That’s all I ask. #ThankYou.”
Westbrook, on the other hand, had an NSFW response, per ESPN, where he essentially said the old vets will give the young players that work, while Anthony, the oldest player on the team, said they simply “don’t care” what people have to say.
“We don’t care. We make our own narrative,” he said, per ESPN.
He continued: “I like when people talk about the age. It gives a better story. I think it gives a better story. I think people forget, at the end of the day, it’s about basketball. You got to know how to play basketball. You got to have that experience. I think that’s what we bring at this point and time. Our talent, our skill, but also our experience.”
So, will Frye be proven right, and will age play a factor in the Lakers’ season? It’s too early to tell, but if this team can stay healthy with James, Davis, Westbrook, and its role players, they will be difficult to beat.