Barkley on Lebron
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Charles Barkley Comments on "Broken" LeBron James

Published April 27, 2024 at 5:10 PM

As LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves on the brink of a potential sweep by the Denver Nuggets for the second consecutive year, concerns loom large over the storied Western Conference franchise.

Following a disheartening 112-105 defeat to the Nuggets on Thursday night, the Lakers now face elimination in Game 4. With Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets poised to deliver another final knockout blow, questions arise regarding the Lakers' performance and mindset.

Is it merely a matter of roster and talent disparity, or are there deeper issues at play? According to NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, the Nuggets' psychological warfare may be taking its toll on LeBron and the Lakers. Barkley offered a sobering assessment of the situation ahead of Game 4.

"It's like their spirits were broken," Barkley remarked after Game 3. "They were just going through the motions in the first half. I haven't seen a broken spirit like that since Kenny's last couple races to the board."

Such a sentiment is rare when it comes to LeBron James, whose mental fortitude is typically unwavering. However, Barkley's observation suggests otherwise, hinting at a potential vulnerability in the Lakers' psyche.

Following the game, LeBron faced criticism for his seemingly indifferent remarks regarding the team's struggles against the Nuggets.

"I don't feel a way about anybody that don't want to strive to be as close to perfect as possible," LeBron remarked. "And it's just basketball at the end of the day. It's just basketball."

The nonchalant attitude from the Lakers' star raised eyebrows, further fueling speculation about the team's state of mind heading into Game 4.

As they prepare to stave off another sweep at the hands of the Nuggets, LeBron and the Lakers will aim to regroup and rediscover their competitive edge. The pivotal Game 4 showdown is scheduled for Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC, where the Lakers will seek to avoid a repeat of last year's playoff disappointment.

April 27   |   10 answers
Charles Barkley Comments on "Broken" LeBron James

Will the Lakers get swept?

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