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#pounditSunday, October 24, 2021

Basketball

Video: LeBron James dissed Suns player during blowout loss

LeBron James

LeBron James was not having any bit of the trash talk that a Phoenix Suns player sent his way during Friday’s blowout loss.

A clip of James chirping at Suns guard Cam Payne from the bench went viral this weekend. In the video, which you can see here, James told Payne, “Stay humble. You was at home a year-and-a-half ago, now you wanna pop off?”

The clip appears to have been from the third quarter, in which the Lakers fell behind by as many as 32 points. James still had a team-high 25 points in the loss, which dropped the Lakers to 0-2 on the season. Meanwhile, Payne finished with just four points in 19 minutes off the bench.

While the Lakers got charbroiled on Friday, you certainly can’t accuse James of not knowing his stuff. Payne was indeed out of the NBA playing in the G League a year-and-a-half ago before signing with the Suns. Thus, this has to be James’ best clapback since the one we saw in Chicago a couple years ago.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Report: 76ers believe Ben Simmons is faking injury, mental health issue

Ben Simmons during a game

Ben Simmons appears unlikely to play in the Philadelphia 76ers’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night, but it sounds like the team feels strongly that he is fit to suit up.

Simmons informed the Sixers on Thursday that he is experiencing tightness in his back. He was reportedly cleared by the team’s medical staff to participate in an individual workout, but he chose to skip it. In addition to the supposed back ailment, Simmons has told the 76ers he is not mentally ready to play.

Not surprisingly, the Sixers do not believe Simmons. Howard Eskin of Sports Radio 94 WIP reports that team officials think Simmons is faking both his back injury and mental unpreparedness. They are said to be “livid” with the point guard.

It is clear that Simmons never intends to play for the Sixers again. The team probably doesn’t want him, but they would likely prefer for things to run a lot more smoothly while they work to trade him. Simmons is unwilling to cooperate — even if it would help facilitate a trade.

Simmons was kicked out of practice by head coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday. The team then announced that he had been suspended one game, which got him out of playing in the season opener on Wednesday night. He’s obviously willing to do anything he can to continue sitting out.