‘Not in my DNA’: Frustrated LeBron James questions future with struggling Lakers

The Lakers struggles seem to get to LeBron James.

After a 112-98 loss to the Heat on Wednesday night, James looked frustrated while explaining he was unhappy with the level of basketball the purple and gold are playing.

“I’m a winner and I want to win,” James said after the Lakers fell to 14-21 this season. “And I want to win and give myself a chance to win and continue to compete for championships. It has always been my passion. It’s always been my goal since I entered the league… Once you get there and know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to play basketball is not in my DNA. It’s not in my DNA anymore, so we’ll see what happens and how fresh my mind will stay over the next two years.

Lakers star LeBron James dribbles the ball during a game against the Heat on December 28, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
NBAE via Getty Images

After Wednesday’s loss to Miami, the Lakers have now lost five of their last six games. It’s James’ second-worst record of any team in 35 games, according to ESPN.

“I’m thinking about how much longer I’m going to play the game,” said james, who turns 38 on Friday. “I don’t want to end my career playing at this level, from a team point of view. I still want to compete for the championships because I know what I can still bring to any ball club with the right pieces. I’m thinking of my son [Bronny James] i will be graduating from high school soon and i am going to college and i am still playing with my youngest son [Bryce James] will be a junior next year and how much time am I still missing.

“So over the course of a day, weeks, months I think of a bit of everything… At the end of the day, I keep the essentials, the essentials and every day when it’s time for us to work I lock up…so many thoughts. But for the most part it’s been a good race so far.

James, playing on the second straight night, led the Lakers with 27 points, along with nine rebounds and six assists against the Heat.

Miami ran away with the game as the Lakers racked up turnovers and failed to score in the final four minutes at FTX Arena. The Lakers were also without big man Anthony Davis, who is out indefinitely with a stress foot injury.

James was also asked about a recent interview with teammate Dennis Schroeder, who said last week that James had told him he wanted to play for another seven years until he turned 45.

“I don’t have a number,” James said. “I know as long as my mind stays there I can play at this level for a minute. It’s up to me. My body will be fine because if my mind is in it I’ll make sure my body is taken. in charge and I will continue to work.

Lakers star LeBron heads for the basket during a game against the Heat on December 28, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
Lakers star LeBron heads for the basket during a game against the Heat on December 28, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.
NBAE via Getty Images

In his 20th year, James is averaging 27.8 points per game, which ranks him ninth in the league. His 35.8 minutes per game ranks 19th.

However, those numbers seem meaningless to James if he doesn’t win. The 37-year-old is playing in one of his toughest seasons yet due to the roster around him. As a Laker, James missed the playoffs twice and suffered the only first-round playoff loss of his career.

In April, james tweeted: “I can’t/will NOT miss the post-season for my career! This EVIL shit. Ok, let’s get back to watching those games.

It came after the Lakers were knocked out of the playoffs in a loss to the Suns – just two years away from the 2020 NBA Finals win over the Bubble Heat. It was James’ fourth NBA championship, having won two with the Heat and one with the Cavaliers.

James has two years and $97 million left on his contract with the Lakers which he signed in August.

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