Hollins: "Absolute Travesty" LeBron Not In Playoffs

The NBA is in the midst of its first LeBron-less postseason since 2005, and Ryan Hollins isn't happy about it

Tiki and Tierney
May 03, 2019 - 10:59 am
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The NBA playoffs have provided some great moments thus far, from Damian Lillard’s buzzer-beater to eliminate Oklahoma City to the Clippers overcoming a 31-point deficit against the Warriors.

Is it good for the NBA that LeBron James isn’t dominating playoff headlines this year?

“Well, yes and no,” former NBA player Ryan Hollins said on Tiki & Tierney. “It’s always good when you see dynamic performances from a guy like Damian Lillard and how he’s burst onto the scene, and we’re going to see some new stars pop out. I think you’re getting a new look at guys like Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard and these best-of talks and conversations, so I think there’s an element that is good. But it’s an absolute travesty in my mind that LeBron James isn’t in the playoffs.”

James had played in eight straight NBA Finals, winning two titles with the Heat and one with the Cavaliers. The NBA, however, is in the midst of its first LeBron-less postseason since 2005.

“It’s just bad for basketball and disrespectful for the sport,” Hollins said. “This is not an old, hobbled man that doesn’t have it or isn’t the same as he used to be. There’s a lot of basketball left in LeBron James. I personally am extremely disappointed. You essentially waste a year of greatness from this guy’s career.”

James, 34, had a great season for the Lakers. He led the team with 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. Nevertheless, the Lakers finished 37-45, missing the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

Brandon Tierney, for one, doesn’t feel sorry for James.

“You can’t feel sorry (for him),” “Hollins said, “but there is something about an athlete: When you play against competition, you want to play against the best. You didn’t get the best out of the Lakers. Hats off to all the teams that put in the work, that grinded all year long and made it. Look, the Lakers fooled around with the game of basketball. Let’s not sugarcoat that. It kind of got too good to them, and they took the little things for granted: getting in and practicing early, staying late, doing the little things, committing yourself defensively, shutting out your friends and family during the season, staying off social media – just doing the basic things.”

Hollins, in fact, wondered if too many Lakers were too preoccupied with non-basketball pursuits.

“I’m all for the more-than-an-athlete scenario and how guys approach that lifestyle,” he said, “but you got to back it up on the court before you do your work off the court. I love guys making money off the court, but you cannot mix them both if you’re not ready for it.”

Click below to listen to Hollins’ interview in its entirety.