Basketball Hall of Fame point guard Walt "Clyde" Frazier criticized Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James for not being involved in team discussions during a timeout in Sunday's game against the New York Knicks.
Frazier, who currently works as a color commentator for Knicks coverage on MSG, suggested James' lack of effort to show he's "part of the team" illustrates "he doesn't really care:"
James' seeming indifference about what's going on during Lakers huddles has become a talking point in recent weeks since he turned his back on head coach Luke Walton and Co. during a Feb. 27 stoppage against the New Orleans Pelicans.
With L.A. owning a record—31-38 going into Sunday's game—that's well short of expectations following the blockbuster offseason signing of James, the four-time NBA MVP provided lukewarm praise of Walton before a March 6 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
"One thing that's been consistent is the voice of our head coach," he told reporters. "Throughout all the injuries, he's been the one that's remained the same and consistent throughout the whole year."
Behind the scenes, however, it appears the Lakers are preparing to make a coaching change.
"The prevailing assumption in league coaching circles remains that Walton will almost certainly be dismissed after the season, followed by the Lakers resuming their trade quest for [Pelicans star Anthony] Davis," Marc Stein of the New York Times reported March 3.
In January, ESPN's Jackie MacMullan (via Chris Bengel of CBS Sports) noted: "It's clear to me … that LeBron's camp would prefer a coaching change. They're not too subtle about that."
The bottom line is every move James takes and each comment he makes during the rest of the regular season will likely be overanalyzed as the Lakers prepare for a crucial summer.
Frazier's pointed remarks are just the latest example.