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Fans Call for LeBron James Trade After Lakers Blow 17-Point Lead to Pacers

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 29, 2022

LeBron James
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Los Angeles Lakers fans are wondering whether it's time to shake up the roster's foundation after the team blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter en route to a 116-115 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

The Lakers had shown signs of life in recent weeks, winning five of their past six games, but their meltdown against the Pacers renewed calls for change. That includes calls to trade LeBron James, which would likely signal a full-scale rebuild in L.A.

Here's a look at some Twitter reaction to Monday's loss, which dropped the team's record to 7-12:

Acito @AceFree_

Never in a million years I thought I’d be writing this <a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a> TRADE LEBRON!

Frank Zhen @FrankZhen13

I've been a die hard Lakers fan for all my life.. I've never seen any Laker STAR let their team lose from a 17 point lead in the 4th.. Time to TRADE LeBron already!

Juicinho @juicekan

Bruh trade Lebron. I don’t get why we are forcing the issue here. Lebron has trade value get rid of him

andres @andres21vergara

final statement: lakers need to trade either Russ or LeBron. it’s time. either make LeBron point guard full-time, or keep Russ paired with AD. ever wonder why the “Big 3” never seem to have a good game as a unit? that should be enough proof.

John Allen @Snomankid9

Trade Lebron, they have played better when he’s been out or injured <br>Lebron still elite level player just bad fit with rest of team - GS? Port? Pho? Mia? NYK? Nets? Cavs?

GAB📌 @TatumsGoated

The lakers should trade lebron lol this is not a hate post btw

Vengence @shaqwhoelse

I love lebron but this 100% true. If he won’t take a vet min next year, we def need to trade him while he has any trade value left <a href="https://t.co/RcT1adKt42">https://t.co/RcT1adKt42</a>

Ozzy @OzzyParlays

Trade lebron that man slows the lakers down

Lakers Daily @LakersDailyCom

LeBron drops 10 points in 3 minutes, sprains his ankle and was clearly hobbled for the rest of the game leading to no lift on his jumpers. <br><br>The way "Lakers fans" are so quick to turn on the man that brought Anthony Davis and the Lakers their 17th championship is embarrassing.

James recorded 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in 36 minutes. He made just eight of his 22 shots from the field, including three of his 10 shots from three-point range.

"Everything has to go wrong in order for you to lose a game like that, and everything went wrong," the four-time NBA MVP told reporters. "And you got to tip your hat to Indiana. They kept fighting. They kept pushing."

Anthony Davis added 25 points and 13 boards, while Russell Westbrook chipped in 24 points and six assists off the bench. Austin Reaves (13 points) was the only other player to reach double figures in scoring for the Lakers.

"That falls on me," L.A. head coach Darvin Ham said about the poor offense in the fourth quarter leading to a stunning loss. "That falls on me. I'll take responsibility for that."

Andrew Nembhard was the hero for Indiana, knocking down a three-pointer as time expired to improve the team's record to 12-8.

NBA @NBA

Andrew Nembhard hits the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TissotBuzzerBeater?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TissotBuzzerBeater</a> to win it for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Pacers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Pacers</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TimingEmotions?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TimingEmotions</a> <a href="https://t.co/lFv43RTHxG">pic.twitter.com/lFv43RTHxG</a>

Tyrese Haliburton (24 points and 14 assists), Bennedict Mathurin (23 points) and Myles Turner (15 points and 13 rebounds) led the Pacers' attack to help set the stage for Nembhard's game-winner.

It's unlikely the Lakers will blow up the roster in the short term, especially in James' case, since he signed a two-year, $97 million contract extension in the offseason.

The continued lackluster results suggest some smaller moves are needed if the team is going to threaten for the playoffs this season, though.

Next up for L.A. as it looks to bounce back from the shocking loss is a visit from the Portland Trail Blazers (11-9) on Wednesday night.