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Windhorst: LeBron James ‘Wears Team Out’ in Four Years Everywhere He Goes

Few NBA analysts have followed LeBron James’s career as closely as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. During a segment on Get Up, amid the Lakersserious struggles, Windhorst laid out the “four-year cycle” that has defined James’s career since his first departure from the Cavaliers.

“LeBron’s career operates in four-year increments. He wears his team out. I call it organizational fatigue,” Windhorst said. “It happened the first time in Cleveland. They ran out of draft picks, they had a bunch of guys in their mid-30s. Shaq close to the finish line, Antawn Jamison. 

“He goes to Miami, four years, great run, they run out of draft picks. In his last game, three guys retired after the game. He goes to Cleveland, four years, great run. They run out of draft picks. They got old guys. Here we are in L.A., fourth year. The oldest team we’ve seen in NBA history, they’re out of draft picks, they’re exhausted.”

James clearly wanted a new experience the first time he left Cleveland, heading to Miami to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. After four years there, he returned to his first squad, bringing an NBA title to his home state.

The difference now? Windhorst says he loves living and raising his family in L.A., so he’s not ready to leave after this latest run, which also featured an NBA title but three otherwise disappointing seasons.

“I don’t think he wants to move. He wants to have his cake and eat it, too.”

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James, who is averaging over 30 points per game this year, is still one of the best players in the league. The Lakers’ offseason gambit, remaking the roster with aging stars like Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, clearly hasn’t worked out, and the team may not have an obvious pathway forward with James. If he doesn’t want to leave, it may not be able to truly rebuild for the future, either.

With Tuesday’s blowout loss to the Mavericks, the Lakers are now in the No. 11 spot in the Western Conference, putting them outside the playoffs and even the play-in tournament if the season ended today. The club is 31–44 on the season.

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