Basketball fans have hit out at Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James’ criticism of the NBA’s newly-introduced postseason plans after he said that the designer of the new ‘play-in’ system “should be fired”.
James’ defending NBA champion Lakers look anything but the sport’s pacesetters today after coming up short once again on Sunday, losing by 121-114 to the Toronto Raptors to cap a horrid recent run which has seen them lose six of their last seven.
And with their spot in the postseason playoffs anything but assured, James was critical in his post-game comments of the adapted playoffs format.
LeBron on the NBA Play-In Tournament: “Whatever the case may be or we end up in the Playoff whatever that things is. Whoever came up with that s**t needs to be fired. But whatever.” pic.twitter.com/lwRReGAQQ8
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 3, 2021
This season, finishing in seventh position in one of the two conferences doesn’t automatically secure passage to the postseason as the NBA have introduced a ‘play-in’ system which will see the teams who finish in seventh and eighth play one another, while the same will also be true of the teams who finish ninth and tenth.
The winner of the first game advances to the playoffs, with the loser then taking on the winner of the other game for the final postseason conference spot.
And if that sounds somewhat confusing to some fans, you can probably add James to that list too.
“Whoever came up with that sh*t needs to be fired,” James told the media of the plan.
Reason #862 why he’ll never be better than MJ: Afraid of competition
— Dan Stu (@DaNStu_) May 3, 2021
But LeBron was praising the play-in tournament last season 😂. He just doesn’t like it now cause his ass is involved
— SHAQ’s BURNER (@ShaqBurner__) May 3, 2021
Is this all he does? Complain?
— Jeff F 🇺🇸🧡💻⚾️ (@MusicForLife61) May 3, 2021
The Lakers began the defense of their crown with a respectable 21-6 record but their form has since shuddered to a halt, going 38-26 since – and are currently listed in the seventh place in the Western Conference, meaning that Monday’s game with the Denver Nuggets is about as crucial a game as they have played all year.
James, though, isn’t alone in his opposition to the new plans. Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban also hit out at the ‘play-in’ format, describing it as an “enormous mistake” in April.
Regardless of what Cuban had to say, James’ stance has placed him firmly in the social media firing line once more.
“He’ll never be better than [Michael Jordan],” suggested one basketball fan. “Afraid of competition.”
Another noted that LeBron appeared to endorse play-in proposals last season, albeit under different circumstances, writing: “LeBron was praising the play-in tournament last season. He just doesn’t like it now cause his ass is involved.”
Another summed it up a bit more bluntly: “Is this all he does? Complain?”
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News