Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditMonday, January 17, 2022

Articles tagged: LeBron James

Ex-LeBron James teammate offers to help Lakers amid their skid

LeBron James yells during a game

One former LeBron James teammate thinks that he is just the elixir that the Los Angeles Lakers need to turn their season around.

Ex-NBA forward Michael Beasley took to Twitter after the Lakers’ latest loss on Christmas to the Brooklyn Nets to pitch his services to the team.

“@Lakers no disrespect, y’all need help,” Beasley wrote.

Beasley also said in response to a skeptical fan that he was 32, making him younger than most of the Lakers’ latest additions.

The Lakers are now 16-18 on the year and will be facing an even harder schedule towards the second half of the season.

The former No. 2 overall pick Beasley was twice teammates with James. The two played together in Miami during the 2013-14 season and then again on the Lakers in the 2018-19 season.

Beasley seems pretty unlikely to get a third shot on a James team. But you never know with the Lakers signing 32-year-old Isaiah Thomas as well as 34-year-old Darren Collison in recent days. At least we know that Beasley would bring a lot of entertainment value to the Lakers.

Photo: Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James goes viral for posting surprising COVID meme

LeBron James warming up

LeBron James shared a COVID-related meme on social media Friday, and the post drew a massive reaction from fans.

LeBron posted a meme on Instagram that compared COVID-19 to the common cold and the flu. He captioned the post with a shrugging emoji and wrote “help me out folks.”

The implication from LeBron seemed to be that it is difficult to tell the difference between the three illnesses. That, of course, was a polarizing take from the Los Angeles Lakers star. Many criticized him and accused him of downplaying COVID, while others agreed and praised him.

COVID cases are on the rise across the NBA and other professional sports leagues. The majority of athletes who have tested positive have not experienced symptoms. Some players have been frustrated that they have to quarantine while asymptomatic.

Early studies on the Omicron variant, which has driven the recent increase in cases, have shown that those who are infected have a lesser chance of becoming severely ill compared to other variants. The symptoms have also presented like a common cold for many people. It’s possible LeBron was alluding to that.

James has said he is fully vaccinated, but some people have criticized him for not taking a strong public stance on the vaccine. One fellow NBA player ripped LeBron for his handling of the topic earlier this season.

Photo: Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James throws some shade at Knicks over Kevin Durant

LeBron James warming up

LeBron James threw some shade at the New York Knicks on Thursday night for a matter related to Kevin Durant.

James’ Los Angeles Lakers are set to face Durant’s Brooklyn Nets on Christmas. Following the Lakers’ 138-110 loss to the Spurs on Thursday, James was asked about KD.

James was complimentary of Durant’s return from a torn Achilles tendon that caused the Nets star to miss the 2019-2020 season. James said he had no doubt Durant would return to form. He added that there was only one group that had doubts about KD.

James said he didn’t want to name the group, but we all know whom he means.

Two and a half years ago, the Knicks and Nets were said to be the leading contenders to sign Durant. KD chose Brooklyn and teamed up with some of his buddies there. Subsequently, a report said the Knicks did not offer Durant a max contract, making Brooklyn an easy choice for the former Warriors forward. According to the report, the Knicks didn’t offer the max contract because they had concerns over Durant’s recovery.

Were the Knicks trying to save face by saying they dumped Durant and not the other way around? That could be the case. We know that the Nets were rewarded for their choice to sign Durant though. He’s looking as good as ever.

Photo: Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Reporter shoots down LeBron James trade rumors

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

The Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles this season have led to some wild rumors and speculation. But none of it is reflective of reality.

There has been some chatter lately that LeBron James might want to play for a different team, one that is more of a contender than the Lakers. There was even talk about him considering his hometown team.

Would that happen? Absolutely not.

“That stuff is just totally false,” reporter Shams Charania said Wednesday on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Charania, who is close with LeBron James’ camp, says he spoke with James’ agent Rich Paul and was told LeBron is not going anywhere.

It doesn’t take much to realize James isn’t going anywhere. He’s almost 38. He’s changed teams three times already. He accomplished his goal by returning to Cleveland and winning them a title. And he moved to the Lakers and won a championship with them too.

James’ goal at this point is to stick around long enough to play with his son, Bronny. He also enjoys being nearby his son’s high school — Sierra Canyon in the Los Angeles area. There just aren’t any compelling reasons for James to switch teams at this point; he’s not chasing rings.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Cavs teammate wonders if LeBron James could return to Cleveland

LeBron James warming up

LeBron James was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, left once, returned to the team, and then left for a second time. Now one of James’ former Cavs teammates seems to think that the story may not be finished just yet.

Retired NBA big man Kendrick Perkins openly wondered on Twitter this week whether James could potentially return to the Cavs again.

“I wonder if Lebron James would consider demanding a trade back to Cleveland?!” wrote Perkins. “I mean the Cavs do have nice squad! Don’t mind me tho and Carry on…”

At 19-12, the Cavs have a much better record this season than James’ 16-16 Los Angeles Lakers. Cleveland’s roster is also rife with young talent. Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen, Darius Garland, and Isaac Okoro are among their young phenoms who are all age 24 or younger. Additionally, the Cavs have been winning without last season’s leading scorer, 22-year-old Collin Sexton, who is out for the year with a torn meniscus.

When it comes to Perkins though, it is worth noting that he works for ESPN and is a hot-take specialist. But he might be more privy to James’ mindset than most, having been teammates with James on the Cavs for two seasons.

In any case, it seems more likely that James would leave the Lakers in free agency in 2023 than that he would demand a trade from them. But the best indicator would probably James’ own comments from earlier this year on how he sees the rest of his NBA career playing out.

Photo: Dec 9, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) warms-up prior to the game against the Memphis Grizzles at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James did not give Suns too much credit after losing to them

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

The Phoenix Suns have now won five straight games against the Los Angeles Lakers dating back to last year’s playoffs. Still however, LeBron James is not giving them too much credit.

The Suns beat the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday by a 108-90 blowout final. After the game, James emphasized one point about the matchup.

“They’re at full strength and we are not,” said James, per Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation.

The context of the quote was James speaking on how the Lakers stacked up against the Suns.

The Lakers were missing Anthony Davis due to a left knee injury and had a number of other players, including Malik Monk and Avery Bradley, out due to health and safety protocols. Still, James’ point does not exactly resonate when the Lakers already played the Suns in October when both sides were at full strength. Phoenix won that game in a blowout as well, leading to some of the Lakers players getting into an altercation on the bench.

The Suns have the NBA’s best record right now at 25-5 and look even better than they did during their Finals run last season. For his part though, James will hold off on giving the Suns their credit until he feels it is a fairer fight.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA Today Sports

ESPN analyst has interesting suggestion for LeBron James

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

The Los Angeles Lakers are going nowhere fast and speculation is beginning to rise that LeBron James may be interested in some new (old?) scenery.

If that does indeed turn out to be true, where might LeBron go? Retired NBA star and current ESPN analyst, Kendrick Perkins, has a suggestion.

This isn’t the first time LeBron going back to Cleveland has been suggested. In fact, that’s become fuel for many debates recently. It’s something that has engulfed Twitter and even Bill Simmons has taken note. So, might Perkins be onto something?

LeBron is no stranger to throwing his weight around when it comes to desired destinations. He maneuvered his way back to Cleveland previously, while taking similar tactics in moves to Miami and Los Angeles. Only this time, the speculation hasn’t been fueled by LeBron himself — it’s been all outside noise.

On his end, LeBron has stated he wants to ride out his career in Los Angeles.

“I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” James told the SmartLess podcast earlier this year. “However many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven. I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in LA, my family loves being in LA.”

That commitment came before the Lakers left the gate with a 16-16 record this year. The Cavaliers, by contrast, are 19-12, have an impressive young roster and are clearly headed in the right direction. Outside of just the hometown vibes, that is undoubtedly appealing to LeBron.

For now however, this is nothing more than conjecture with a pinch of salt. But there’s a lot of time left for that to change. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, February 10 at 3:00 p.m. ET. We’ll see where things stand come that time.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Former teammate reveals why LeBron James flops

LeBron James yells during a game

LeBron James’ infamous flopping habit is one of the biggest gripes that fans have with his style of play. Now one of James’ old teammates is revealing exactly why the former MVP does it.

Iman Shumpert, who played with James on the Cleveland Cavaliers and won a title with him in 2016, appeared this week on “The Bootleg Kev Podcast.” One of the topics that he spoke on was James’ flopping.

“The worst thing we had against LeBron was like, ‘Bro, why you flopping?’” said Shumpert. “And literally, he started flopping cause he like, ‘Bro, I gotta get these free throws if these people getting free throws.’ He like, ‘Bro, I’m really getting hit.’ So he like, ‘Ah, I’ll sell it for you since they can’t see it cause I’m so strong. Y’all can’t see me getting fouled.’”

It is definitely strange sometimes to see James, who is one of the most gifted athletes ever at 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds, flopping around like a fish out of water whenever he gets hit. He has flopped for most of his career and even got warned by the NBA for it as recently as this year. But the rationale that Shumpert gave actually makes some sense. We saw in the 1990s and 2000s how Shaquille O’Neal would often get mauled in the paint but drew fewer whistles than he deserved because of how physically dominant he was.

Of course, James can go a bit overboard with the flopping at times and was actually doing it long before he became teammates with Shumpert. James clearly feels that flopping evens the playing field for him in drawing free throws that he would not otherwise get.

H/T Lakers Daily

Photo: Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Was LeBron James to blame for Anthony Davis’ latest injury?

LeBron James pushing Jaden McDaniels

LeBron James appeared to set off a chain reaction on Friday that led to another injury for star teammate Anthony Davis.

Davis injured his knee in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 110-92 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. James pushed off on Wolves forward Jaden McDaniels, who then fell into Davis’ left knee.

Another angle of the play showed Davis’ knee seemingly bending inwards.

Davis exited the game and did not return. He had difficulty getting to the locker room on his way out.

James was called for an offensive foul on the play, lending credence to the suggestion that he was to blame for Davis’ injury with his two-handed push on McDaniels. However, Lakers fans will argue that McDaniels embellished the contact and instead point the finger at him for Davis’ injury.

Regardless, Davis was diagnosed with a left knee contusion and will undergo further testing on Saturday, per Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet. The Lakers play the Bulls in Chicago on Sunday.

The oft-injured big man, who is averaging 23.8 points per game this season, missed two games earlier this month with soreness in the same knee. Davis also had another injury scare earlier in the game against Minnesota.

Frank Vogel shares his new policy for Lakers

Frank Vogel

The Los Angeles Lakers are scrambling to get things right and that led head coach Frank Vogel to institute a new policy. And it’s a simple one at that.

“The open man is more talented than any individual on our squad,” Vogel told reporters on Friday, via the Los Angeles Times.

There is one variable, however. And it comes in the form of a four-time NBA MVP.

“Except for maybe LeBron James,” Vogel said with a smile. “I think Bron’s mentioned that.”

Of course James mentioned that. There was no chance he’d let that comment slide with some clarification.

Off in the distance, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony could be heard whispering, “And me!” “And me!” “And me!” Probably.

But all jokes aside, the new approach seemed to work for Los Angeles. At least for one night.

James scored 33 points and turned the ball over just twice in a 116-95 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook, unselfishly, posted just eight points to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists. Melo added seven off the bench and Davis? Well, he didn’t play due to a sore knee.

It was a step in the right direction for the Lakers, who are back above .500.

“Really proud of our group for taking the lessons of last night’s game, where we failed to make the simple play, to see the open man in front of us and try not to force things to certain guys,” Vogel added. “We really bought into that morning film session and tried to have it carry over into tonight’s game. We moved the ball beautifully. And as a result, the shot quality was high and we had a great shooting night from the perimeter. Really proud of our guys.”

Now Los Angeles needs to string some positive nights together. They’ll get a crack at that on Sunday night when they host the Orlando Magic.