Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is a legend among men on the basketball court. He is a truly gifted player, and it is not hard to understand why he has the nickname ‘King James.’ While it does sound a little pretentious, he commands the basketball court much like a king would his royal court.
However, while he may be the ‘king’ of the basketball court (Kyle Kuzma’crowned’ him earlier this year), he is just another NBA superstar off the hardwood. But it sounds like he may be taking the ‘king’ part of his nickname a little too seriously off the court.
James had a chance to show some leadership—and act like a king people want to follow — last week when the players still inside the bubble gathered (on Wednesday and again on Thursday) to discuss whether they would finish the season.
But according to reports, James did not come off like a leader when talking to the group. Instead, it sounds like they felt like he was talking down to them. He was even described as coming across like he was ‘a King with some crown.’
Stephen A. Smith talked about the issues players had with James during a recent ESPN broadcast:
As the face of the NBA, you may think he can get away with this. But what he doesn’t realize is that there is a whole new generation of players—and superstars – ready to make the NBA their own. If they decide they have had enough of him talking down to him, they could dethrone the King – by taking a page out of his own playbook.
It’s a two-step plan—keep King James from building another super-team and start building a few others.
The manner in which the Lakers have struggled to sign big-name free agents in recent years, James may not be able to form a super-team in Los Angeles. But if the Lakers can hold onto Anthony Davis and the young talent on the roster can continue to develop, the Lakers will still be a formidable team.
Competing franchises are turning to young guns to build a few super-teams of their own. The Clippers already have one with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and their talented roster. The Golden State Warriors (when healthy) certainly qualify as do the Houston Rockets (they could use a strong third to their Big Three though).
There is hope for the Brooklyn Nets once Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant heal up. With all the good, young players hitting the market over the next couple of years, there is no reason to think we will not see the potential for a few new dynasties.
It’s that simple. Do it, and the young stars of today can beat King James at his own game—and then crown a new king.