Sports gambling column: Week 24

Through all the years I’ve been watching the NBA, one thing has been constant. LeBron James playing in the playoffs. This season, barring a miracle, James and his Lakers team will not be competing in the postseason. This season for the Lakers has been a rollercoaster, but overall, the team hasn’t met the expectations that we all had for James and co. back when he signed with the team on July 1. I still remember where I was and what I was doing when that happened – eating a trailer park taco (trashy, of course) at Torchy’s Tacos on Guadalupe Street. Ever since that day, the Lakers have been the center of a media frenzy that hasn’t really ceased at any time during the summer or the season. But James and the Lakers have failed. Whether we blame front office executives Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka for not signing the top free agents last summer (or trading for Pelicans center Anthony Davis), James for not leading the team, head coach Luke Walton, the young players on the team, the veterans players on the team or divine intervention, one thing is clear: The Lakers have wasted a year of James’ career, which is a catastrophic failure given that he only has so many years left of his career. A franchise (especially a marquee one like the Lakers) cannot afford to not make the playoffs with a talent like James.

I bet on the Lakers’ live money line last night (+425) when they were down eight points with eight minutes left because above all else, I believed in LeBron James. Now, after watching the Lakers really never compete with the Clippers in a must-win game and lose by double-digits, that belief is wavering for the first time. I wasted my $10, and while the Lakers haven’t officially been eliminated from playoff contention yet, they’ve wasted a year of James’ career.

There’s not much that interests me gambling-wise until the NCAA tournament starts, so until then I’ll be watching live money lines and seeing if I should jump on any of them. See you next week.


Money spent to date: $250

Winnings to date: $197.99