LeBron James revealed his feeling to ESPN’s Michael Wilbon after the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to trade for Kyrie Irving this weekend.
The Los Angeles Lakers sit in 13th place in the Western Conference standings, but are two games out of a play-in spot and three games out of a playoff spot as of Sunday. With the trade deadline taking place on Thursday, Feb. 9, the NBA world wondered if they would make a big move. As it turns out, they were reportedly in the running for Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who requested a trade this past Friday. Two days later it was reported that Irving would be heading to the Western Conference, but to be as the newest member of the Dallas Mavericks.
When speaking with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon on Monday, James opened up about his thoughts on the Lakers missing out on adding Irving to their roster for the second half of the season to make their push for a playoff or play-in tournament berth.
"“Well, it’s definitely disappointing. I can’t sit here and say I’m not disappointed on not being able to land such a talent but someone that I had such great chemistry with and I know I had such great chemistry with on the floor that can help you win championships, in my mind, in my eyes, but my focus has shifted now,” said James. “My focus has shifted back to where it should be, and that’s this club now, and what we have in the locker room…”"
LeBron James ‘disappointed’ Lakers missed out on Kyrie Irving, but he’s moved on
As James says in his comments, he has pivoted to focusing on the team after the trade attempt for Irving fell through.
"“I don’t get too excited about the possibility of things that can be, I kind of envision myself on what it can, but I don’t invest all the way into it until I know it’s happening,” said James. “When it does not happen, I’m back locked in on the job at hand. We had an opportunity, our names were out there, the Lakers name was out there. We had an opportunity, it didn’t happen, we move on, we finish this season strong. Try to get a bid into the postseason where I feel that if we go in healthy, we can compete with anybody.”"
The Lakers did make a push for Irving. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers had offered the Nets Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 for Irving. The Nets countered that offer, where they asked for Austin Reaves, Max Christie, and some pick-swaps in addition to Westbrook and the two first-rounders.
As we know, the Lakers and Nets were unable to reach a deal. Brooklyn traded Irving and Markieff Morris to Dallas in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2029 unprotected first-round pick, and second-round picks in 2027 and 2029.
The trade deadline is on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers do make a move, aside from their trade for Rui Hachimura in late January.