EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – LeBron James 'statement of self-responsibility was lost after the Los Angeles Lakers' two-to-two trip through New Orleans and Memphis.
"Start with me," he said after the defeat against the Grizzlies on Monday against the Lakers, three games behind the San Antonio Spurs for eighth and last place in the Western Conference playoffs. "I just have to stay positive."
The behavior of the MVP MVP in Memphis has changed significantly: the loss to the Pelicans in the previous match was so discouraging that teammate Kyle Kuzma openly questioned the consistency of the team's body language. concealed from James.
The positivity was postponed on L.A. Wednesday, when eight times during his seven-minute press session, James reiterated his confidence in the current position of the Lakers.
"We like where we are," he said in his opening statement.
"I love where we are today," he continued a few minutes later.
He was far from the gloomy prospects he had projected after the defeat against the Pelicans, when he pointed to the lack of experience of his teammates in the playoffs and all the commitment that he made. result.
James was asked if his statements to the press were an echo of what he had said to his teammates behind closed doors or where he had used the media to send messages. He avoided the question, postponing the conversation about how he saw the position of his team.
"It's hard to kind of [determine] what am I saying to you guys that filters to my guys, "James said. For these guys, I think we try to get ready every day. And we are preparing. Do not try. Every day we prepare for our next challenge and we did it today. And I like the positive spirit that we have, even with the fight we have had in the last 10 games. I love where we are today as a ball club, with our state of mind and, hopefully, the future. "
The Lakers coach, Luke Walton, said that he had tried to manage the state of mind of his team by guiding the players to what was being said in the locker room sanctuary, and not what was said during the press sessions.
"I encourage many of our players not to pay attention," Walton said. "Because a lot of things are going to be writhing and titles are going to read something totally different from what was said, so it's not different from anything we've been preaching all year long. since [get-go], and that's what we worry about our group. We are the ones who will move things or not, so we can not let external distractions bother us. "
Walton was asked questions about a viral video on social media showing James apparently spoiling his defensive cover late in the Memphis defeat, leaving the field open, Bruno Caboclo of the Grizzlies, open to knock a 3-pointer that allowed Memphis to climb 103-96 with 2: 30 remaining.
While explaining what L.A would have ideally done on this possession, Walton essentially exonerated James even though the optics of the video gave the impression that James was making no effort for the piece.
"They did a good job," Walton said of the Grizzlies, noting that Mike Conley's dominance over the final right-of-play had caused L.A. to jostle his defense a bit. "But we wanted LeBron to be the man of the rotation [Jonas] Valanciunas or [Joakim] Noah, whoever was going to be there, and he turns to the biggest. "
Whether it is rhetoric, trying to invert the proverbial switch or a shared state of mind, James and Walton have remained focused on the l? 39. opportunity to lead the Lakers to their first playoff appearance in six years.
"We are fully aware of the difficulty of this job, but we must also be aware of how lucky we are to be able to take on these jobs," Walton said. "We come to work and play basketball every day, we should be very optimistic about it and excited."
James, who has been told by a reporter that the longest run of the Lakers this season is just four, continues to point to the sunny skies.
"Today we have the opportunity to make the most of the day and not worry about what has happened in the past," James said. "We are not worried about time constraints or what everyone says, I think that's what's happening here and I'm happy to know where we are."