Published: Wed, March 27, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Lakers coach Luke Walton candid on elimination from playoffs

Lakers coach Luke Walton candid on elimination from playoffs

It was not meant to be like this, especially after the signing of LeBron James - the man who single-handedly dragged his hometown team Cleveland Cavaliers to a championship in 2016 and was instrumental in Miami Heat's dominance in the first half of the decade.

World Peace, who's in the Philippines to support his son Jeron Artest in the 2019 NBTC Nationals, said the injuries to Lonzo Ball and James ultimately led to the Lakers' freefall.

In an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Wade defended James' inability to make the playoffs in his first season with the Lakers.

Asked how much more he wants to play this season, James said: "With us being officially eliminated, I will probably have a conversation with the coaching staff".

"Here's where I'm telling you he's letting himself off the hook".

The couple announced their impending new baby girl on New Year's Day, when the former Lakers star wrote on Instagram, "Vanessa and I are beyond excited to announce that we are expecting another #mambacita to go along with Natalia, Gianna and Bianka".

"It was unfortunate because it got hit with so many injuries in rapid succession", he said. In his 17-game absence, the Lakers won just six games.

The season effectively ended on March 2 when the Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns, the fifth team with sub-.400 winning percentages the Lakers had lost to. She also commended James for "unselfishly" enduring it all so as not to let the Lakers and their fans down. At least not a profound enough difference to justify shortchanging your young core's growth, or your free agency pitch.

Luke Walton's team did look like contenders in December when they had moved up to fourth place with an impressive win over reigning champions Golden State Warriors, but an injury to James in the same game put a massive dent in their hopes.

The boardroom has to take some responsibility, too.

Having a year out there in the Western Conference, it is tough.

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