The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship in 2020 and it looked like it was going to be the start of a great stretch of basketball for the team. Anthony Davis and LeBron James were absolutely dominant and had the perfect roster around them to succeed.
Instead, roster mismanagement and bad injury luck have derailed the team since. While they currently have a chance of making the playoffs, they are not viewed as a legitimate contender any longer. Los Angeles has not even won a playoff series since winning the NBA Title.
One of the big plays that changed the entire trajectory of this Lakers’ contention window happened in March of 2021. While diving for a loose ball, Solomon Hill dove into LeBron James’ ankle, injuring James in the process. LeBron missed over a month of action and still has issues with that same ankle/foot two years later.
A (presumed) Lakers fan took to Twitter to express his feelings toward Hill and the play that changed the course of this Lakers team. Hill didn’t back down and not only defended the play in question but had to throw in a brutal roast as well.
"Still salty, but at least his intentions weren’t malicious from lakers"
“If I didn’t have that mentality defensively, I’d (probably) be you.” Ouch. Hill went straight for the jugular.
Solomon Hill diving on LeBron James’ ankle is the most consequential Lakers play of the last three seasons.
There is a lot that has gone wrong for the Los Angeles Lakers over the last three seasons. Solomon Hill diving on LeBron James didn’t result in Anthony Davis getting hurt in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, for example.
Not all of the Lakers’ issues can be pointed directly at Hill. That being said, this one play is still the most consequential play of the last three seasons for the Lake Show. This gave LeBron an injury that he is still dealing with to this day, hurt LA’s seeding in the 2020-21 season to force a play-in berth and matchup against the Suns and did have an impact on the bad moves the front office made.
Does Rob Pelinka make the bold choice to trade for Russell Westbrook to lessen the regular-season load for LeBron and AD if LeBron doesn’t suffer a nasty ankle injury that continues to linger? Maybe not.
Did Hill intentionally injure LeBron James in a March basketball game when he was on the Hawks? No. Does that change the fact that it was hugely consequential and LeBron has every right to be upset? Not at all.