NBA Playoffs 2019: The Cancellation of the “Lebron James Invitational”

Jamie Bishop, Staff Writer

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What has recently been  known as the “Lebron James Invitational” has now been returned to its rightful name: the NBA Finals.

For eight straight seasons, James has had a strong grip on the eastern conference and had become accustomed to playing in June. Many wondered just what did him in? Some felt he would suffer after moving to the western conference where he had to face some challenging competition like Golden State and Houston. Others thought that, perhaps, it was the distraction of living in LA that brought the Lakers and Lebron down to earth. It turns out it was a combination of both. The west is not the conference that you can coast and still get into the playoffs. So far it seems like LeBron has made the switch to L.A for more business than basketball.

For many, this season has been a huge flop for the Lakers. From failing to land Anthony Davis during the season to missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year, the team was a disaster. It was no secret that the Lakers were far from championship contenders this season, but for critics and fans alike, progress is what we wanted to see and the Lakers missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year is what we got instead.

James was supposed to be the star power that would  thrust the young Laker core into the playoff mix, and, partly, that’s what he did. When James went down on Christmas Day, the Lakers were the fourth seed. However, from that point on, everything started to unravel.

So, what’s next for the Lakers, who will finish the season with Lebron on the shelf for the rest of the year? Head coach Luke Walton was not hand picked by Magic’s camp or LeBron’s, so many believe he will be the first casualty of war.