LeBron James Responds to Criticism of Lakers' Offseason Acquisitions: 'Keep Talking'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts to a call during Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns Thursday, Jun 3, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

LeBron James appears ready to use any and all criticism of the Los Angeles Lakers as motivation for the 2021-22 campaign.

James asked critics to "keep talking" Wednesday in a since-deleted tweet and has apparently already taken note of suggestions that the Purple and Gold will be too old or injury-prone to compete for their second championship in three years:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

LeBron calls out those doubting the Lakers đź‘€ <a href="https://t.co/V83nXIdJIX">pic.twitter.com/V83nXIdJIX</a>

Los Angeles won the 2019-20 title inside the Walt Disney World bubble with James and Anthony Davis leading the way, but it lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns last season.

Injuries were a problem throughout the campaign for both stars, and Davis missed a game and parts of two others during the Suns series.

The team wasted little time revamping its roster by adding a number of players, including Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Nunn, Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Trevor Ariza and Kent Bazemore.

Westbrook (32), Anthony (37) and Howard (35) aren't exactly young, and James is 36. Despite LeBron's message, it is at least fair to worry about the ages of many of L.A.'s key contributors.

Davis is only 28 but has an injury history and played just 36 games last season.

Then there are questions about spacing when Westbrook has the ball in his hands given some of his shooting struggles, including a 30.5 percent career clip from three-point range. How he will fit with James, who is one of the best players in league history and can create as a distributor or score himself, remains to be seen.

Elite players who use slights—real or perceived—as motivation is nothing new. James has seemed to do so in the past by tweeting things such as #WashedKing.

It appears as if he has found more motivation.