LeBron James played Tony Allen-level defense against Memphis. Just kidding, he stood around like a statue instead
Let's get one thing straight: this is not a LeBron James hate site. In fact, just about all of us at The Loop are #TeamLeBron. Personally, he's the greatest athlete I've ever been lucky enough to watch. Everything he does on the court is remarkable, and I cannot stress "on the court enough." Off the court, I think we can all agree he's pretty insufferable (at times).
On Monday night though, there were a few on-the-court moments for the King that didn't exactly scream remarkable. With the Lakers fading further and further from the playoff picture by the day, every game is essentially a must-win, especially games against the second-to-last in the West Memphis Grizzlies. With all the talk from LeBron about "activating" into "playoff mode," it's tough to watch him play this type of defense in a must-win game, wouldn't you say?
Hey, is that Tony Allen out there? Nope, it's a statue posing as LeBron James in a must-have game against the 24-38 Grizzlies. And if you think we're nitpicking one play, here's some more lowlights that make James Harden look like Bruce Bowen:
Yikes. I've seen better effort on the defensive end by a dad with the gout at the YMCA (completely made this up but it sounds true). I'm not even going to get in to LeBron's comments after the game that were "taken out of context," or his nauseating, self-serving Instagram post or the fact he was caught red-handed yesterday in that 2Chainz video which was shot the night before he bailed on his team before they played the Warriors due to "load management," I'm sticking strictly with this on court display. How is this acceptable? LeBron stans like my co-worker Alex Myers, who I caught snooping over my shoulder to see what I was saying about his King, will tell you that maybe the Lakers strategy is to have LeBron sink into the paint. I'm not even kidding you that was something Myers said with a straight face this morning. I mean, what?!
This is far from the only instance of James' lax defense either. One Twitter user took it upon himself to start a thread of James doing his best Carmelo Anthony impression on numerous occasions this season:
There are more, but again, I don't want to come across as a LeBron hater. I'm far from it. Plus, we're talking about a guy who made one of the top five defensive plays in NBA history in the 2016 Finals. All I'm pointing out is that the OPTICS of this are not ideal. That's all. I'm sure he'll snap into playoff mode any day now.