Did LeBron James really blame Lakers playoff failure on injuries, COVID?

LeBron James used injuries and COVID as an excuse for the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff exit.

LeBron James may have hinted that injuries and COVID were a reason the 2020-21 Los Angeles Lakers lost in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

“The one thing that bothers me more than anything is we never really got an opportunity to see our full team at full strength,” said James to ESPN. “Either because of injury or COVID or something going on with our ballclub this year, we could never fully get into a rhythm. And never really kind of see the full potential of what we could be capable of.”

Does James have a point here or does this only come across as sour grapes from King James?

LeBron James blames injuries and COVID for the Los Angeles Lakers’ failure

Injuries are part of any sport, so using that as an excuse for not getting it done will always fall on deaf ears. As far as COVID, that excuse is a little bit more interesting. Three of the last four teams remaining from the Orlando bubble fell in the first round this postseason. Only the Denver Nuggets advanced to the conference semifinals after having next to no offseason whatsoever.

The super quick turnaround did hurt teams like the Lakers, the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, but it is not like Denver has been free of injuries this year. They have been down their second-best player in Jamal Murray for weeks. All that has done is ensured us that Nikola Jokic will win NBA MVP. Denver has enough talent and competitive firepower to potentially win the West this year.

Given that everybody had to deal with COVID this year, that is not a great excuse to have either.