Despite 29 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists in a team-high 36 minutes of action, LeBron James and the Lakers dropped to 2-5 on the season after a 124-120 loss to the Timberwolves on Monday night. Brandon Ingram was back in the lineup after his four-game suspension and dropped 23 in the second consecutive L for the purple and gold. Following the game, the usual coterie of media crowded around James in the locker room to hear about the game, and in an ever-growing demand for content, he didn't disappoint.
"You probably don't want to be around when my patience runs out," he portended near the 4:30 mark in the below video. "I'm serious," he added with a slight smile that wasn't at all jocular.
James also spoke about LA's abysmal rebounding—they gave up 20 offensive boards—and paraphrased an expression for insanity often misattributed to Albert Einstein (it's really a narcotics anonymous maxim) about doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.
James passed Dirk Nowitzki for sixth on the all-time scoring list earlier in the week, and the averages say he'll pass Michael Jordan some time in mid-January, but the Lakers have a long way to go before they can be considered a real contender in the West. We all knew this heading into the season, especially with the players brought in around him.
But a soupcon of annoyance peeked out in those post-game comments, and the calendar hasn't even turned to November yet. That has to be a cause for concern among Lakers fans. LeBron's still the best player in the world, and the long regular season is still in its infancy, so we may be reading too much into it. Then again, no one is more aware of the power behind even his most innocuous words than LeBron, so perhaps he's sending a message to those teammates who forgot to find a body to box out when a Timberwolves shot went up.