The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night in a game that was desperately needed for the purple and gold. Things have not been going well for the Lakers since the NBA In-Season Tournament and a win over a really good Clippers team could be a launching-off point.
LeBron James and the rest of the locker room have grown tired of losing with LeBron even making a bold statement about his son, Bronny James, that disparaged his Lakers teammates in the process. The problem is not solved after one win but it is a step in the right direction for the Lake Show.
For many fans, the problem is as simple as head coach Darvin Ham and as long as he is still around there is reason to be concerned about this team's ceiling. The team seemingly knows that Ham is holding it back with reports of there being a disconnect between Ham and the locker room surfacing last week.
With LeBron's undeniable influence on the franchise, it is hard not to think that any potential frustrations from him are fueling these reports (especially considering his past with head coaches). LeBron is not even being subtle about it anymore, as his post-game comments praising Ty Lue on Sunday night may be interpreted as a message to Ham and the Lakers.
LeBron James sends not-so-subtle message to Lakers about Darvin Ham
LeBron James praising Ty Lue in this way is the complete opposite of everything that fans have heard and read about Darvin Ham's standing with the team. While Ham's seat continues to warm and questions arise about his future, LeBron took the time to go out of his way to praise Lue. That seems intentional.
Yes, LeBron and Lue are good friends and that likely also factors into LeBron praising him. But it does not take a rocket scientist to interpret this as a message to the Lakers front office. LeBron wants Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss to see what a good head coach can actually do.
What makes this more interesting is the fact that Lue interviewed for the Lakers job back in 2019. Unfortunately, the Lakers low-balled Lue with a three-year, $18 million contract offer that prompted him to sign a five-year, $35 million contract with the Clippers instead. LeBron obviously has not forgotten.
You get what you pay for in this league and there is no doubt that Ham was a cheap head coach hiring as a first-time coach as well. While he struggles to corral the locker room and faces questions about his job, Lue has coached the Clippers far past expectations this season. LeBron going out of his way to point this out is not an accident.