Lakers need fresh approach, new head coach

To some, LeBron James is known as the greatest player of all time — the  GOAT— the best all-around player in the history of the NBA.

For 19 seasons, he’s maintained that high-level activity. This year, he battled with younger players like Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo to take home the scoring title. James finished the season averaging 30.3 points a game, just barely losing it to Embiid’s 30.6.  

James and the 2021-2022 Lakers team did not play at the level everyone expected. While James had a career season at 37 years old, the Lakers were still 16 to 17 games under .500. When the regular season ended, the Lakers did not make the playoffs.  

The Lakers dealt with a lot throughout the season—James, Anthony Davis, and Kendrick Nunn suffered injuries, there were coaching problems, and a blame game played out that took focus off the court.

At the start of the season, the narrative focused on the fact there were four Hall of Famers on one team. The team had playoff experience, and the Lakers were expected to be a hard team to face in the playoffs. Fast forward to the end of the season, and they were not in the tournament.

The Lakers now have many things to deal with internally this offseason, including addressing Russell Westbrook’s lackluster season and $44 million contract. There have been talks about trading Westbrook to the Hornets for another big expiring contract in Gordon Hayward, which could add a bit more shooting for James.  

There was also another coaching change with the firing of former head coach Frank Vogel after the season’s end.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who helped build the Warriors a winning blueprint, could join the Lakers and lead their upcoming season to above a .500 margin.  

James said he liked the idea of having Jackson as coach.  

Just like how Tyronn Lue was for the Cavaliers during their title run, James and the Lakers need a coach who takes the reigns and makes the decisions inside and outside the game. The Lakers need a leader who adjusts the starting lineups, guides trades, and improves late game coaching. A coach like that could help the Lakers turn around next season.