NBA

'We will be prepared no matter what' – LeBron on Lakers trade talk after latest win

By Sports Desk February 06, 2024

LeBron James says he loves the players in the current Los Angeles Lakers locker room as speculation about roster changes swirls ahead of Thursday's trade deadline.

The Lakers won 124-118 against the short-handed Charlotte Hornets on Monday, with their third straight victory marking their best run since winning the NBA Cup in Las Vegas.

There is still much debate over how different Los Angeles' team will look by the time it takes to the court at home to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.

D'Angelo Russell is one of the players mentioned in trade talks and he led the team with 28 points and six assists in Charlotte.

Anthony Davis had his third career triple-double with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists, while LeBron had 26 points on 12-for-22 shooting.

LeBron was asked after the game whether the current roster was good enough to win a championship or if he felt changes should be made.

"It's not a question for me," he said, per ESPN. "I love who we have in the locker room and that's all I worry about.

"We are going to go out and prepare ourselves every single night no matter what it is, no matter who's out there on this team. No matter what.

"This is who we have, so there's nothing else to talk about."

Russell is also completely blocking out the speculation after producing an impressive run of performances. The Lakers are 10-6 since he returned from injury in January.

"Show up to work," he said about how he was coping with the trade debates. "That's it. Just play. You can't control that. I don't care at all [about trade speculation].

"Obviously I've been here before, I played for the Lakers before, so I know what the requirements are to be successful here are. 

"So, if you're part of the future here you'll be successful. If you're not, you'll get traded. And I've been traded before here. So, my approach is just a little different.

"I really just genuinely, humbly don't care because I know I can't control it, one. And, two, I just won't allow my mind to go there. 

"I like to focus on this and you can see how I've been focusing on basketball and not comments and what's trending on social."

Miles Bridges produced a career-high 41 points and rookie Brandon Miller scored 33 points for the Hornets, but it was not enough to prevent them from suffering their eighth straight loss since trading Terry Rozier.

The Lakers are 27-25, ninth in the Western Conference, and would need to improve to at least sixth to avoid the play-in tournament.

After going 4-2 on their six-game road trip, Los Angeles now has three straight home games against Denver, New Orleans and Detroit.

"When we put our minds to it, we can beat any team in this league," added Davis.

"We lost two we felt like we should have won, and we won two that the people in Nevada thought we should lose. When we buckle down defensively and play the right way we are a tough team to beat."

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