After their disappointing 128-115 loss to the lottery-bound New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, James questioned his team's sense of urgency at this point in the season with a potential playoff spot hanging in the balance.
"How many know what's at stake if you've never been there?" James asked rhetorically of qualifying for the postseason after the game, via ESPN. "I'm playing devil's advocate, you know? It's kind of a fine line when you talk about that, because when you've never been there or know what it takes to actually shoot for something like that, sometimes you're afraid to get uncomfortable.
"So you got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. So I'm not saying that's what we are as a whole. It kind of looks that way at times, that sometimes we're afraid to be uncomfortable and kind of get out of our comfort zone and kind of, you know, have that sense of urgency from the jump, and not be afraid to actually go out and fail to succeed. So, I mean we have, what? Twenty-three games left. We'll see what happens."
Then, after their 110-105 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, James seemed to question the team's focus and made it clear that this is the wrong franchise to be with if you cannot handle the type of pressure the Lakers are under right now as they look to secure a spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
"At this point if you are still allowing distractions to affect how the way you play, then this is the wrong franchise to be a part of and you should just come and be like, 'Listen, I don't [think this is for me]," James said when asked if the pressure of the playoff push was potentially weighing on his teammates, via ESPN. "I cannot do this.
"Like, seriously, if you're distracted by playoff pushes out of all the stuff that's been talked about this year, nah. Just come and do your job. We do our job at a high level and that's not a distraction. That's what you want. That's what you want every game. You want to feel like you're fighting for something."
Despite James' concerns about the team, he remains optimistic about their chances of making the playoffs and the Purple and Gold will look to get things back on track on Wednesday night when they host the Pelicans by following LeBron's lead.
"Just stay positive. That, you know, starts with me," James said. "I just got to stay positive. Keep knocking on the door. And I felt like if we play like we did tonight, then we got to continue that consistent effort, that will get us over the hump as we make this push."
If the Lakers ultimately fail to qualify for the postseason, it will be just the third time in James 16-year career that he wasn't in the playoffs, and the first time since the 2004-05 season.