LeBron James After Lakers' Loss to Nets: 'Nobody's Gonna Feel Sorry for Our Record'

Erin WalshDecember 26, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a play during the game against the Brooklyn Nets on December 25, 2021 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers fell 122-115 to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday for their fifth straight loss, dropping their record to 16-18. After the game, LeBron James didn't mince words while discussing the team's struggles in 2021.

"Well, I’m not a very patient person, obviously. But, you know, under circumstances …without our head coach, you know, tonight we finally got a couple of our key guys back. But we’re still missing a few. We just try to stay even-keeled," James told reporters

"Obviously this losing streak is not something that none of us want. But nobody’s gonna feel sorry for you. Nobody’s gonna feel sorry for our record. Nobody’s gonna feel sorry for guys that … everybody, you know, besides I think, like, Golden State and Phoenix, everybody has guys out. So you know, you just gotta, when you get your opportunity, get your number called, just make the most of it. Go out and play, play our system."

James finished Saturday's game with a season-high 39 points, in addition to nine rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes. He entered having averaged 26.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. 

Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have also been effective this season. Westbrook entered Saturday averaging 19.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.0 assists per contest, while Davis is averaging 23.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Still, the team could use some help outside of its big three. 

Carmelo Anthony and Talen Horton-Tucker are also averaging double-digits in points, but the remainder of the roster has been highly underwhelming. 

The Lakers entered Saturday's game with one of the worst offensive ratings in the league at 105.9. The team's defense has been a little better with a 108.2 rating, but it still hasn't been good enough.

All of L.A.'s struggles are somewhat surprising given the amount of changes the franchise made over the summer. The Lakers traded Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Westbrook, and also parted ways with several other players in hopes of improving following a disappointing first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns last season. 

However, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss admitted in August that it was a challenge to fill out the roster with quality players after acquiring Westbrook and his contract that has a $44.2 million cap hit this season and $47 million cap hit in 2022-23. 

"We're over the cap. We have really no room. When we made that trade (for Westbrook), we knew we'd have to fill the roster with seven or eight players at the veterans minimum," Buss told The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan. "And so trying to convince players to come on one-year deals for the minimum is a challenge."

With the Lakers continuing to struggle, the franchise is going to need to make some moves if it hopes to compete with the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz for one of the top spots in the Western Conference. 

However, it's unclear how the team will approach the situation. James won't be moved. Westbrook won't be moved because of his large contract, and while the Lakers likely won't want to trade Davis, he's one of the only other players that would net them anything significant in return.  

There has been speculation that Davis could be traded, though there has been no reports of the team being interested in moving him.