The Los Angeles Lakers finally got back on the right track as they were able to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers, snapping their four-game losing streak.
LeBron James tied his season-high in assists (16) while the bench had their best performance of the 2019-20 NBA season, scoring a season-high 72 points. Kyle Kuzma was the primary reason for that as he dropped 24 points with 20 of them coming in the first half.
Even now at 25-7, there always seems to be some drama for the Lakers and this time it came in the form of comments made by Kuzma’s trainer, Clint Parks. Parks took to social media to criticize James’ showing against the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day, insinuating that he was not working hard enough and was scared of Kawhi Leonard.
However, James did not seem phased by the situation, according to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
“I really don’t care for someone’s trainer or whatever the case may be,” James said. “Everyone can have their own opinion. And any time someone wants to get some notoriety they can throw my name in and people are going to pick it up. That’s why you’re asking me about it because my name was in it.
“I’ve never met the guy, I don’t know the guy, I could care less about the guy. Whatever the case may be. I wish him the best.”
Kuzma added that he did not share his trainer’s views:
“I just told him that I can’t control what another man says,” Kuzma said. “Obviously I don’t feel that way, everybody knows that me and LeBron have a great relationship, and left it at that.”
James has never been one to take harsh criticism to heart and this is another case of that as he seemed to dismiss the occurrence entirely. Kuzma also did a good job of approaching James and explaining his side as this is something that he could not have prevented given he has no say in what his trainer says on his own time.
While this will likely go down as a blip in the Lakers season, the team has several pressing issues to attend to, starting with their on-court production. Their hot start to the season masked some of their issues, but the losses made the roster’s weaknesses loud and clear, starting with the lack of shot creators and wing defenders.
Regardless, the purple and gold remain at the top of the Western Conference and get a chance to earn a quality win when they take on the Dallas Mavericks.