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LeBron James sounds frustrated with the Lakers ahead of the trade deadline, even if he insists he’s not

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He can deny it, but LeBron James’ voice is clearly upset.

James spoke to Sam Amik of The Athletic on Saturday night after his Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings 136–134, about the direction of the Lakers franchise as he nears the end of his career.

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Despite winning five games in a row, the Lakers are again heavily injured and will miss the playoffs for the second year in a row if the season ends today. James needs help, and the trade deadline is about a month away, and the Lakers have some decisions to make. Internal debate has been reported about whether the Lakers should reschedule a couple of future first-round picks to help James win now.

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After a brief conversation with Amik on Saturday night about how the Lakers front office is running the roster and his involvement in that conversation, James began to walk away. The first part of the conversation didn’t do much—James repeatedly said he was just focused on the game—but it was the end that showed how he felt.

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“You all know what the hell is going to happen” – James shouted back to Amik before leaving forever. “I don’t need to talk.

Later Sunday afternoon, James returned to the tone of this Twitter comment.

“Hey Sam, my patience isn’t really wearing thin. You say that like I’m upset when I’m really not,” he tweeted in part. “I’ve told you over and over, my work is focused on the guys in the dressing room, not the roster. That is the reality of this conversation.”

While James is correct that it is not his job to shape the Lakers’ roster, he will certainly have at least a say in what happens. He’s one of the best football players to ever play, and the Lakers have been building around him ever since he landed in Los Angeles ahead of the 2018-19 season.

James also made it clear that he no longer wanted to play pointless basketball. He wants to win now, while he still can.

“I’m a winner and I want to win and give myself a chance to win and still fight for the championship,” James said last month. “This has always been my passion, this has always been my goal ever since I entered the league as an 18 year old from Akron, Ohio.

“And I know it takes steps to get there, but once you get there and know how to get there, playing basketball at that level just to play basketball is not in my DNA. It’s no longer in my DNA.”

It’s hard to read James Amick’s last quote and take it as anything other than disappointment.

There is no doubt that James wants to win in order to end his career. If the Lakers can continue to do so now, the trade may not be necessary in the coming weeks. Keeping their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks will also be good for the long-term success of the organization after James leaves.

But, especially with Anthony Davis and others injured, moving now may be the best way to get James and the Lakers back in the playoffs.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James returned to the explosive comments he made to The Athletic about the direction of the Lakers organization before the trade deadline. (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)


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