Was LeBron James speaking about the Lakers and himself when referencing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers?
Though one could argue there is nothing in it, the Lakers star appears to have been laying it all on the table with his comments.
No stranger to the camera, the Lakers icon has often been known to use screen time to hint at what he likes about his team and what he doesn’t. This time, however, his comments were a little less than subtle when talking about the Packers’ star QB, which begs the question: Are the Lakers listening?
What was LeBron James really saying when talking about Aaron Rodgers?
Let’s take a quick recap. The Lakers are sitting on a 3-10 record and have spent the better part of this year trying to find a team to offload Russell Westbrook on. It should be said, that part of the difficulty in finding a suitable trade stems from their refusal to include both of their available first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 in a deal. With cap space preservation the apparent priority, James and Co. have been forced to watch as things go from bad to worse. Indeed, James himself recently indicated that he “does not want to waste a season of his high-level playing days in hopes of incoming reinforcements for the 2023-24 campaign.” How does this relate to Aaron Rodgers? During the debut episode of “TNF on The Shop,” James weighed in on the recent struggles of the Packers and their legendary signal caller and his comments definitely appeared to be a veiled reference to himself.
“When you’ve got a transcendent, franchise player like Aaron Rodgers. A quarterback, obviously we know that the quarterback position in the NFL, besides if have like a monster defensive end or d-tackle like obviously Aaron Donald. That’s the most important position in the NFL. Why wouldn’t you surround that, when you’ve got the picks, to maximize what he can do?” James opined. Paul Rivera, who was on the broadcast with James, asked “Are we still talking football or are you talking basketball?” While James did say football, he jokingly added that it “definitely translates.”
Does LeBron James have a point with his Aaron Rodgers reference?
To be fair, the scenario facing both himself and Rodgers are not without their similarities. As mentioned before, the Lakers have stood firm on their future draft picks. Likewise, the Packers shockingly traded away their second-best player last offseason - Davante Adams - to the Raiders in order to get more draft picks, but they never replaced him. To that end, reports have suggested that Rodgers has not been pleased about the team’s refusal to use a draft pick to bring in a wide receiver. Ironically, one of the picks was in fact used on another quarterback, Jordan Love.
Yes, there is the possibility that the Packers could use some of their picks to find a replacement for Adams, however, given Rodgers’ salary - it’s extremely high - it’s hard to see where the franchise would find the cap space to accommodate a top tier wide out on their roster, unless of course they intend to shred the roster. What seems to be the reality here, is that Adams’ trade was largely about accumulating draft capital for the future. The problem for Rodgers and the Packers is the present.
The Same but Different: LeBron James’ stance
While there are clearly differences between Rodgers’ situation and James’, namely the idea that the Lakers are looking at their picks as bargaining chips for the future, it’s clear that James is not on board with forgoing present success - he’s on limited time - in the name of future possibility. Indeed, the four-time league MVP made it very clear where he stands. Remember when he praised Rams’ general manger Les Snead following the team’s Super Bowl win. Snead at the time wore a shirt during their victory parade which read “f*** them picks.” In response, James praised him on Twitter saying “LEGEND! My type of guy!!” You can take that how you want, but we’re guessing there was more to that statement than just LA based support. Either way you cut it, there may just be the chance that the Packers are trying to help Rodgers out, but where James is concerned, we’re not so sure.