LeBron James' Teammate Kent Bazemore Defends Lakers Star amid Criticism

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 1, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 7: Kent Bazemore #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands for the National Anthem before the game against the Golden State Warriors on April 7, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers were the NBA's most disappointing team this season, but Kent Bazemore isn't pointing any fingers at LeBron James. 

"The dude was third in the league in scoring," Bazemore told TMZ Sports. "What else do you want him to do? He put his body through a lot this year to be there for us."

James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game for a Lakers team that floundered their way to a 33-49 record. The four-time MVP was only able to play 56 games, the third time in four years as a Laker he's missed 25-plus games.

James had never missed more than 13 games in a single season before coming to Los Angeles. If he had played enough to qualify among the league leaders, his 30.3 points per game would have actually ranked second.

If there is some level of blame, it's on James' body for failing to withstand the 82-game grind as he approaches age 38.

That said, the Lakers got even less availability from James' co-star Anthony Davis and a little more than disappointment from Russell Westbrook.

If we're pointing fingers for the disaster that was the Lakers' season, James is somewhere very far down the list.