LeBron Posts Weirdly Positive Instagram Before Wednesday's Lakers Game

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

That's not the message James sent to teammates following losses to the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.

With the spotlight firmly on the Lakers, who face the reality of missing the playoffs after sitting fourth in the West prior to LeBron's 17-game absence due to injury, James said that any players letting distractions affect their play were on the "wrong franchise".

When the context of the question was released, people realized James wasn't calling out his youngsters for being bothered by the trade rumors.

Still, despite playing on a sub-.500 team the latest into a season since his second year in the league back in 2004-05 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, James expressed optimism - a sentiment echoed by most of the Lakers' locker room.

LeBron James and the Lakers find themselves in a very ugly spot at the moment.

In LeBron's defence, the Lakers were coming 4 midway through the year and then a groin injury forced the three-time National Basketball Association champion to miss 18 games which severely dented their chances at a crucial point during the season.

The big reason Los Angeles isn't interested in making a move for Anthony, Robinson shared, is that the Lakers failed to land Anthony Davis in a trade and therefore still have the likes of Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala on the roster.

"He killed the Lakers' chemistry", the executive told Bleacher Report. "Even during the All-Star draft, he laughed about [wanting Davis to be his teammate]".

"When you've never been there or know what it takes to shoot for something like that, sometimes you're afraid to get uncomfortable", LeBron said.

"Like, seriously, if you're distracted by playoff pushes out of all the stuff that's been talked about this year, nah", James added. James has publicly criticized his youth-laden surrounding cast but, after Monday's loss, he offered positive reinforcement and coach Luke Walton said he was pleased with the team's effort and poise. "We're the ones that are going to make things happen or not, so we can't let outside distractions get in our way".

The Lakers won just six games with LeBron and have lost six out of nine since his return. Losing game one to Houston, it feels the same way as losing game 59 in New Orleans, for me. That's what you want. If you can be the savior and drag this team into the playoffs then you can get away with some of the nonsense in terms of the comments that you just mentioned or taking plays of on defense or taking games or weeks off on defense.

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