Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ third loss in a row on Sunday, LeBron James made his feelings on the league’s new play-in tournament abundantly clear.
“Whoever came up with that shit needs to be fired,” he said after the game. “Whatever.”
James left the court due to soreness in his right ankle before the end of the game, a 121-124 loss to the Toronto Raptors, and now the Lakers are in three-way tie with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. It’s now possible that the Lakers could wind up in the play-in tournament, which might be why James had a sudden change of heart.
Butr James isn’t the only high profile player to come out against the tournament. Just last month, Luka Doncic also expressed his disapproval of the tournament. “I don’t understand the idea,” he said, “You play 72 games to get in the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you’re out of the playoffs I don’t see the point of that.” Like James, his team is facing the possibility of playing the play-in tournament.
The play-in tournament isn’t the only concern for the Lakers, however. Commenting on his injury on Sunday, James said that his ankle was “really good” for the first half but started to get “a little sore” and “a little tight” by halftime. “I don’t have too much level of concern, but I need to be healthy,” he added.
The Lakers are set to face off against the Denver Nuggets on Monday, but it remains unclear if James will be able to play. “The plan is to see how I feel and go from there,” he said.