Unbelievable Yet True: The Lakers’ Home Court Disadvantage in the LeBron Era


In a revelation that might surprise many fans and analysts alike, the Los Angeles Lakers have never enjoyed home court advantage in any playoff series since LeBron James joined the team. This startling fact underscores an unusual chapter in the storied franchise’s history during one of basketball’s most celebrated eras.

LeBron James, whose move to the Lakers in 2018 was met with much fanfare and high expectations, has been a central figure in revitalizing the team’s fortunes. Despite his monumental impact and the Lakers’ various successes, including a championship win in 2020, the team has consistently started playoff series without the strategic benefit of home court advantage. This means that in each playoff matchup since LeBron’s arrival, the Lakers have had fewer home games than their opponents if a series went to a full seven games.

This anomaly stands out, especially considering the historical dominance of the Lakers in the NBA. Home court advantage is often pivotal in the playoffs, offering teams not only the comfort of familiar surroundings but also the energetic support of their home fans, which can influence game outcomes. The absence of this advantage for the Lakers suggests a series of complex factors at play, including regular season challenges and fiercely competitive Western Conference standings.

The implications of starting playoff series on the road are significant. It tests a team’s resilience and adaptability under less favorable conditions. For the Lakers under LeBron’s leadership, it has meant overcoming additional hurdles to carve out success. The 2020 NBA championship, for instance, highlighted this resilience, as the Lakers triumphed in the Orlando bubble, a neutral location that leveled the playing field for all teams.

This curious statistic not only adds a unique twist to LeBron’s legacy with the Lakers but also highlights the competitive nature of the NBA, where not even the presence of a superstar guarantees the usual perks enjoyed by top-seeded teams. As the Lakers continue to navigate the ups and downs of the league, the lack of home court advantage in playoff series remains a testament to their ability to contend under continually challenging circumstances.

As fans and analysts look to future seasons, the question remains whether the Lakers can secure a top seed and finally flip this unusual narrative. Until then, this aspect of the LeBron era will continue to be a fascinating subplot in the ongoing saga of one of basketball’s most iconic franchises.

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