LEBRON James is starting to run out of patience with the mistakes of his young Los Angeles Lakers teammates, just seven games into the NBA season.
The Lakers are 2-5 after a 124-120 loss at Minnesota on Tuesday and have given up an average of 122.3 points per game for the second worst defence in the league.
The Lakers haven’t been able to keep opponents off the boards — they surrendered 20 offensive rebounds to the Timberwolves — nor have they been able to shut them down on crucial possessions.
Three straight losses to start the season were swept aside when the Lakers won their next two, but two losses in a row have questions being raised.
The defeats have come courtesy of Portland, Houston, Minnesota and San Antonio (twice) with an average margin of victory of 5.4 points.
“We talk about patience but you can’t have reoccurrence of the same thing,” James told reporters after the loss to the Timberwolves.
“If you are doing the same things over and over and over and expecting the same result then that’s insanity.
“So we have to get better. We can’t keep having the same mistakes over and over.”
When James left an ageing Cleveland team behind and signed with the Lakers in free agency in the off-season, he acknowledged he was moving to a young team that he would need to nurture and teach.
Already, though, he’s grown tired of losing.
“You probably don’t want to be around when my patience runs out,” James said.
The Lakers’ young core — Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma — has shown potential but James expects more.
“We got to figure it out,” he said.
“It is not one guy. We are all in this together, so, we got to figure it out.
“We got another one on Thursday (against Dallas) on our home floor and we got to be really good.”
The Mavericks hold a similar 2-5 record in the early parts of the season, but playing into the Lakers’ hands is the fact Dallas rank 21st in the league for rebounding with 44.1 per game. These numbers come despite having one of the best big men in the game in DeAndre Jordan. A player the Lakers will have their hands full trying to contain.
James is ninth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.6 points per game, 9.1 rebounds and 8.3 assists.
He is tied for third in minutes played with an average of 36.0.