LeBron James Apologizes to Lakers Fans: 'I Promise We'll Be Better!'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2022

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 15: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game on January 15, 2022 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. 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 Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have been arguably the most disappointing team in the NBA this season, and their star player knows it.

LeBron James apologized to Lakers fans Sunday and promised they will improve after a 21-22 start that includes three straight losses following Saturday's defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets:

LeBron James @KingJames

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LakerNation?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LakerNation</a> I apologize and I promise we’ll be better! πŸ‘‘πŸ’œπŸ’›

Los Angeles came into this season with championship-or-bust expectations after overhauling the roster this past offseason and bringing in Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, among others.

Yet Anthony Davis is sidelined with a knee injury, and Westbrook has struggled with efficiency and overall fit while adjusting to an offense that also features James as a ball-dominant playmaker.

In fact, Westbrook is shooting 29.1 percent from deep while averaging 4.3 turnovers per game.

The result has been plenty of responsibility on James' 37-year-old shoulders, and his 36.7 minutes per game is his highest mark since he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-18 campaign. 

He has responded well while averaging 28.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game, but it is at least fair to wonder how fresh he will be during playoff time with more offensive responsibilities for a team that is fighting to make the postseason at this point.

The Lakers are seventh in the Western Conference and would be in the play-in tournament for the Nos. 7-10 seeds if the season ended with the current standings. That would mean they had to win an extra game just to get into the first round of the playoffs, where some of the best teams in the league will be waiting.

Los Angeles doesn't currently look ready to challenge the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns or even Memphis Grizzlies, but perhaps James' message will help spark a midseason surge.