Forgrave: LeBron Is Bummed, Not Devastated

LeBron James couldn't lead the Lakers to the playoffs this season, but he might not be losing much sleep over it

Taz and the Moose
April 12, 2019 - 9:11 am
LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers NBA

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The NBA regular season has ended, the playoffs are upon us, and LeBron James – who had played in eight straight NBA Finals – won’t be a part of them.

How weird is this?

“I think it’s good that we had a couple months to adjust to this,” CBS Sports NBA analyst Reid Forgrave said on Taz & The Moose. “If LeBron had just missed the playoffs, I think it would have been a little bit harder to swallow. But because this has been such an absolute abject disaster in Los Angeles, it’s almost like (people) have adjusted to it. There are other things to pay attention to because there are so many different storylines in the league. The fact that LeBron isn’t in the playoffs is much less weird than the way his boss decided to quit the other day.”

That boss, of course, was Magic Johnson, who resigned as Lakers president – without informing Jeanie Buss.

Is James having second thoughts – or regrets – about coming to Los Angeles?

“I think he does – if championships is what matters most to him,” Forgrave said. “But the flip-side of that is LeBron is going for something different. He’s going for quality of life. And man, to be a billionaire in L.A.? L.A. is a great place to live, especially if you’re a billionaire.”

The Lakers finished 37-45 this year. It was their best season since 2013 – but their sixth straight losing season nonetheless.

“Is he bummed out by this? Yeah, absolutely,” Forgrave said. “But is he devastated in the way that he was devastated after the Heat lost to the Mavericks back in 2011? I don’t think so. After that series, LeBron went into a cave. He basically went into his bedroom for a month, sulked, plotted, and decided he was going to destroy everyone when he came out of that bedroom – and he did. That was probably the biggest shaping moment of LeBron’s career, was that failure against the Mavericks.”

Compare that to this season.

“What did he do after this season was over? He went and hung with his boy, Dwyane Wade for his last game,” Forgrave said, “and he was pulled out the last few weeks of the season – which was the right call. LeBron shouldn’t have played with the team so far out of it and they were tanking. But I get the sense that LeBron has other things going right now.”

Those things may or may not involve – or revolve around – NBA titles.

“The fact that this team didn’t win a championship, well, I’m pretty sure LeBron knew the moment they didn’t sign anther superstar in the offseason, they weren’t going to win a championship,” Forgrave said. “He wants to win a championship for L.A., but he believes his legacy is secure. So is he bummed about it? Absolutely. Is he like 'This is the worst decision I’ve ever made and I can’t believe I did this and I’m looking for a way out?’”

No, he is not.

“I get the sense that LeBron is just in a different spot in life,” Forgrave said. “He no longer feels that everything he does will be judged by a championship.”

Click below to listen to Forgrave’s interview in its entirety.