It's an understatement to say this latest NBA season has been the roughest of LeBron James' career thus far. After multiple trips to the NBA Playoffs, that doesn't appear like it will be the result for his newest team, the Los Angeles Lakers. As of Saturday, they are 6.5 games out of the No. 8 spot in the West and will take on the Boston Celtics. His former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving made an emotional call to LeBron weeks ago, but just recently gave more empathy for his former teammate.

Kyrie talks about LeBron criticism

LeBron's first season in Los Angeles appears on track to be one of his first, in a long time, with no playoff participation afterward.

Who's to blame, though? There are those individuals who criticize the inability of Magic Johnson and the front office to make any other significant moves to help LeBron. Some feel this roster isn't built for success. There are also some fans and analysts pointing fingers at LeBron for the team's inability to win games and get into the playoff chase. However, Boston Celtics All-Star Kyrie Irving gave support to his former teammate.

Irving spoke about how it doesn't make him feel that great seeing LeBron James struggle after leaving the Cavs. In recent comments, Kyrie made to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, he indicated that he is "very empathetic towards it because how much he wanted to play during that time when he messed up his groin." Kyrie also mentioned the criticism is "a little unfair" based on the fact LeBron missed a good number of games with that injury.

Many people put the total around 18 games due to the groin injury LeBron suffered back on Christmas Day. In that particular game, the LA Lakers defeated the Warriors and were amongst the top four teams in the West. Once LeBron and Lonzo Ball became injured, the team went into a downward spiral out of playoff contention.

Irving and LeBron reunion

There have been plenty of Lakers rumors regarding the offseason, and plenty of the speculation is swirling around available NBA All-Star free agents. LA's final trade offer for Anthony Davis failed during the regular season and could continue to be on hold for another season. It doesn't mean they can't add some big names from this summer's NBA free agents.

They included the likes of Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Kevin Durant. The Celtics' Kyrie Irving is also on that list and has shrugged off any discussion of the matter until July 1.

Meanwhile, rumors have suggested the New York Knicks will be major players in trying to land Durant and Irving for their team. That would put the Knicks' struggles on the shoulders of Irving and Durant to turn things around for a team that hasn't had much recent success. It would be quite similar to LeBron's plight in LA this past season, except for the higher bar that was set by previous Lakers greats.

There are also lingering rumors that a Kyrie Irving and LeBron James reunion could happen with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The two stars have been able to patch things up since Irving left LeBron in Cleveland (via trade) years ago. At that time, Irving had mentioned wanting to get out of LeBron's shadow and be a star for a team of his own.

The Celtics have been enjoying more success since Kyrie's addition, but this latest season has even been a struggle for them in the East. Some feel that the Boston Celtics won't have the chemistry and ability to get past East heavyweights like the Raptors, Bucks, or Sixers.

Whether or not Kyrie Irving decides to reunite with LeBron as part of the Lakers remains to be seen. It appears things are good between the former teammates. Until a Lakers team-up happens, they'll have to meet up as opponents in Los Angeles on Saturday night as the Celtics visit for a game at 8:30 p.m. ET.