Face-to-face interviews are a regular episode for LeBron James. After the loss against the Blazers, he had to deal with the same episode on Monday in a post-match conference.
In a post-game interview, LeBron James was not going to allow himself to say something unfavorable about Russell Westbrook. The Los Angeles Lakers season ended on a downer when they lost 106-104 to the Portland Trail Blazers with a dubious play by Russ in the final seconds.
This is what the all-star had to say about Westbrook’s performance in the final period, “I don’t know. I feel like this is an interview that’s trying to set me up to say something. I can tell that you guys are in the whole Russell Westbrook category right now. I don’t like to lose, I hate to lose. … I hate losing, especially the way we had this game.”
LEBRON: "I feel like this an interview to try to set me up to say something…You guys can write about Russ & all the things you guys want to try to talk about Russ. I'm not up here to do that. I won't do it. I've said it over & over. It's not who I am." pic.twitter.com/n1P0BpaMFh
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 24, 2022
However, after hearing LeBron James’ statement, Stephen A. Smith also responded angrily to the Lakers star during his appearance on ESPN’s First Take, stressing that James encouraged the question by making a similar comment. Stephen pointed out to James who revealed the team’s shooting struggles following their season opener. Russell Westbrook, who has never been a decent 3-point shooter, became the center of attention as a result of those statements.
There was outrage from fans on social media too.
One follower replied, “He’s made a career throwing coaches and teammates under the bus”
"Don't think you're that damn smart that you get to navigate through this. We, talking about the media setting you up to get at Russell Westbrook: No, my brother. You did that… You gotta own that my brother."@stephenasmith's message to LeBron James 👀pic.twitter.com/n5siIqO0Gq
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) October 24, 2022
In the end, LeBron and the Lakers can’t afford to let the opinions of others dampen their spirits right now. Since they are now 0-3, they need to find a solution to their losing streak immediately.