Stephen A. Smith Boldly Doubles Down on His Absurd LeBron James Comments, Gives a ‘Eulogy’ for His Career: ‘The Game of Basketball Will Be Eternally Grateful to You for All That You Have Done’
The Los Angeles Lakers have stumbled through the first few weeks of the 2021-22 season. It’s featured star forward LeBron James missing significant time due to nagging injuries. All that has led ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to double down on a bold stance regarding James’ NBA title chances.
LeBron James continues to struggle with injuries in his 19th campaign
James has struggled to stay on the court through the first several weeks of the 2021-22 campaign.
The 36-year-old has missed nine games due to injury, creating building outside doubt. James initially missed two games due to a sore right leg, followed by his current seven-game absence due to an abdominal strain.
Los Angeles has struggled in his absence, holding a 3-4 record over the last two weeks. The Lakers’ shortcomings have led Stephen A. Smith to double down on a bold stance regarding James’ NBA title chances.
Stephen A. Smith boldly doubles down on his absurd LeBron James comments, gives a ‘eulogy’ for his career: ‘The game of basketball will be eternally grateful to you for all that you have done’
The Lakers’ continued struggles have pushed many media pundits off the hype train concerning their NBA title chances.
Stephen A. Smith took it a step further on Tuesday’s episode of ESPN’s First Take by stating that he believes LeBron James’ days of winning NBA titles are over due to the Golden State Warriors’ dominance.
“Warriors going to the Finals,” Smith said. “Let me say something else: I think LeBron has won his last title. I think it’s over. It’s not LeBron’s fault. LeBron is gonna be LeBron. He gonna come back. He gonna do what he gonna do. They ain’t winning no chip.”
Smith’s comments created some significant reactions on social media. It led him to double down on his strong stance on Wednesday by giving James a live on-air eulogy.
“I want to say congratulations to LeBron James for a wonderous, illustrious career. Four-time champion. Four-time league MVP. Went to 10 NBA Finals. Your run was phenomenal my brother. It was something special. The game of basketball will be eternally grateful to you for all that you have done.
“When we look at the Mt. Rushmore of basketball, we can make an argument between LeBron and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, if you want to go 2-3 or 3-2 whatever, but I got LeBron James as No. 2 in the history of basketball. Impeccable role model.
He added that his bold claim isn’t slighting James’ ability, but more so, the Warriors looking every bit the part of a legitimate NBA title contender before Klay Thompson’s imminent comeback. Smith isn’t doubting James won’t play at an elite level once he returns but doesn’t see any team topping Golden State.
It’s incredibly early to jump to that conclusion, but the longtime ESPN personality is already convinced of James’ fate ahead.
Lakers must remain patient and focused on the grander picture
It’s awfully early in the 2021-22 campaign to jump to conclusions that the Lakers are destined to fall short of winning an NBA title.
The Warriors have played like a serious championship contender, but Los Angeles is working to find their identity and build chemistry. The Lakers are dealing with not only James’ absence for this crucial process but also missing two key role players in Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn.
It’s led head coach Frank Vogel to fiddle through various lineups and rotations to keep the team afloat. Talen Horton-Tucker’s play in his return has been encouraging, but the Lakers need their entire roster healthy to get a true sense of the team’s capability.
James’ return will place Russell Westbrook into the role he needs to play for the Lakers to compete for an NBA title. Meanwhile, it gives Vogel the chance to determine the appropriate rotations and lineups.
The clock is ticking, but the Lakers still have plenty of time to round into form to vie for a championship.
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