The Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. For the first time since the 2004-05 season, LeBron will not be in the playoffs.
When James signed with the Lakers during the offseason, most people found themselves on one of two ends of the Hot Take Meter.
You were either on the side of “LeBron is the best in the world and won’t have any issues in the West," or you were the side of “LeBron only had success because he was in the East, and can’t repeat it in the West.”
There wasn’t much of a middle ground, nor is there ever in the era of morning debate shows and Twitter rants.
For analysts Stephen A. Smith, Chris Broussard, Nick Wright and others on the end of “LeBron is the best, he won’t have a problem,” well … they were wrong.
By a lot.
Of course, any time someone has a hot take, there’s only one of two ways it can end up. You’re either going to be spot on, or you're going to be dead wrong.
The funny part is just how wrong they all were.
“Wake me when a LeBron James team doesn’t win 50 games,” said Wright.
Someone please wake up Nick, because the Lakers can’t sniff 50 wins. They currently sit at 31 wins with just nine games left.
Not only did Smith and Broussard predict the Lakers would win at least 50 games as well, but they also said LeBron would win MVP.
That’s not happening either. James hasn’t even been in that conversation for most of the year, ever since the Lakers' season started spiraling after he injured his groin Christmas Day against the Warriors.
“The Lakers are going to the Western Conference Finals, for sure,” predicted comedian Michael Rapaport, a frequent guest on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed.
Any dream of LeBron vs. the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals is going to have to wait at least until next season, presumably after LeBron rebuilds the entire Lakers roster.
The Warriors, despite a somewhat tumultuous season, have held onto their perch atop the Western Conference. While their rival Lakers have completely imploded, the Dubs sit at the No. 1 seed in the West and are heavily favored to three-peat as NBA Champions.
While the Warriors' run to another title has been predictable, the Lakers' collapse has, admittedly, been stunning.
But that’s the business most of these guys are in. They get paid to give their hot takes. They’re going to miss on some predictions and hit on others. These were all predictions at the beginning of the season and obviously changed as the Lakers rough season progressed.
We could have shown all the people who predicted the Lakers fate correctly, but what fun would that be?