LeBron James: Missing playoffs in back-to-back years is not in my DNA
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LeBron James has acknowledged the importance of the Los Angeles Lakers' remaining 23 regular season games as he underlined that he does not want to miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The Lakers currently own a 27-32 record, with which they are the 13th-team on the Western Conference standings.
The Dallas Mavericks, who are currently the sixth team in the West, have a 31-29 record. The teams that finish between 7-10 will play in the play-in tournament. The Oklahoma City Thunder, who are currently the 10th team on the Western Conference standings, have a 28-29 record.
"It's 23 of the most important games of my career, for a regular season. It's the type of mindset that I have, and I hope the guys will have, coming back off the break," James said, per ESPN.
James: Missing playoffs is not in my DNA
"I want to make a push to make the playoffs.
I don't want to see myself not being part of the postseason for two years straight. It's just not part of my DNA. We're sitting up here talking about the [scoring] record and things of that nature, and that's all cool, but I'm more passionate about trying to make the postseason and give ourselves a chance to compete for another Larry O'Brien Trophy.
That's just who I am. That's what I'm cut from," James explained. The Lakers made several moves prior to the trade deadline, most notably trading Russell Westbrook and adding D'Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura. If the Lakers make the playoffs, James won't be lacking any confidence in their ability to go all the way.
"I've always been confident in any club that I've been on once we got into the playoffs that we can compete with anyone, and I feel no different now," James underlined. James is a four-time NBA champion and his last championship came in 2020, when he led the Lakers to a championship in the bubble during the pandemic.