"The last few years, everyone's so accustomed to the losses that I'm just not accustomed to. I'm not accustomed to it, I'd never get comfortable with losing. Losing game one to Houston, it feels the same way as losing game 59 in New Orleans, for me. That's just how I'm built. That's who I am. ...
"How many know what's at stake if you've never been there? ... When you've never been there or know what it takes to actually shoot for something like that, sometimes you're afraid to get uncomfortable. You've got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
"I'm not saying that's what we are as a whole—it kind of looks that way at times but sometimes I feel like we're afraid to get uncomfortable, get out of our comfort zone, have that sense of urgency from the jump and not be afraid to actually go out and fail or succeed. We have, what, 23 games left? We'll see what happens."
Los Angeles is one of the league's most inconsistent teams. At times, it looks like an NBA Finals contender. On other days, it look like one of the league's worst outfits.
The Lakers have wins over the Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder, who are the top three teams in the Western Conference. They have also lost to the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers, who are the Eastern Conference's two worst teams.
James is leading a young team that features three starters (Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma) and a key reserve (Josh Hart) who are 23 years old or younger. That quartet has been under immense pressure all year, with high preseason expectations and midseason trade rumors involving Davis.
That group also has zero postseason experience and has never really played meaningful regular-season games. The 35-47 Lakers finished 12 games out of the playoffs last year and went 26-56 the season prior.
That inexperience may be hindering them as they play the second half of the season in search of a postseason spot.
All hope isn't lost, as the team is just 3.5 games out of eighth place in the West. The Lakers will have a chance to get back to .500 when they visit the Memphis Grizzles on Monday.