Report: LeBron James and Anthony Davis Advocate for Lakers to Bench D’Angelo Russell

Los Angeles Lakers’ Coach Collaboration Fuels Lineup Decisions

D'Angelo Russell: Lakers Off to Rough Start After All-Star Break - Lakers  Score

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has made significant lineup adjustments throughout the season, including the notable move of shifting guard D’Angelo Russell to a bench role. Interestingly, this decision wasn’t made unilaterally by Ham; he consulted with star players LeBron James and Anthony Davis before implementing the change.

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According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, this strategic shift paid immediate dividends, with the Lakers securing a victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder, highlighted by a vintage 40-point performance from LeBron James and a season-high 37 assists from the team.NBA: LeBron James puts up 30 as Lakers down Spurs | GMA News Online

The Lakers’ roster underwent significant changes last February, with the arrival of D’Angelo Russell in a trade that sent out Russell Westbrook. This trade also brought defensive standout Jarred Vanderbilt and 3-point specialist Malik Beasley to the Lakers, igniting a resurgence in the team’s performance.

Despite high expectations for the current season, marked by contract extensions for key players like Russell, Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, and Austin Reaves, the Lakers have struggled, posting an 18-19 record and enduring a prolonged slump since winning the inaugural NBA Cup.

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Criticism has been directed at the team’s lack of viable 3-point shooters and some of Coach Ham’s lineup decisions. Reports suggest a growing disconnect between Ham and the team, raising questions about his ability to lead the locker room.

However, despite these challenges, Ham appears to have the support of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, who recently expressed her backing for the coach via text message.

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With a series of home games on the horizon, the Lakers have an opportunity to improve their record and climb back into playoff contention in the competitive Western Conference. However, time is running out, with the midway point of the regular season fast approaching.

Nevertheless, Coach Ham’s track record of guiding the team to a deep playoff run last season after a difficult start demonstrates his ability to navigate adversity and foster success among his players.

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