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#pounditTuesday, October 26, 2021

Articles tagged: LeBron James

Rajon Rondo has hilarious reaction to LeBron James, Anthony Davis missing him

Rajon Rondo crying

Rajon Rondo returned to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason after spending a year elsewhere, and his veteran teammates are happy to have him back. LeBron James and Anthony Davis had high praise for Rondo this week, and the point guard was emotionally moved — kind of.

A reporter told Rondo on Tuesday that LeBron and Davis specifically mentioned how much Rondo was missed on last year’s Lakers team. The 35-year-old had a hilarious reaction.

Rondo helped the Lakers win an NBA title two years ago, so it makes sense that players who were on that team are happy to have him back. Davis in particular really seemed to miss Rondo when he was gone.

The Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade this offseason, so Rondo isn’t expect to play a huge role. He will, however, provide valuable veteran depth and injury insurance.

LeBron James weighs in on NBA’s ongoing vaccine debate

LeBron James

Several NBA players have revealed this week that they chose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While LeBron James is not among that group, the Los Angeles Lakers star says he has no interest in influencing the decision of his peers.

LeBron told reporters on Tuesday that he received the COVID-19 vaccine, though he says he was “very skeptical” about it at first. Though he felt taking the vaccine was right for him and his family, James said he will not use his status to encourage others to get vaccinated.

“I don’t talk about other people and what they should do. I speak for me and my family,” LeBron said. “We’re talking about individual bodies. We’re not talking about something that’s political or racism or police brutality or things of that nature. I don’t feel like, for me personally, that I should get involved in what other people should do to their bodies.”

There has been a lot of talk about vaccine status at team media days this week. Kyrie Irving has not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and recently supported some anti-vaccine sentiment on social media. Bradley Beal, who contracted COVID-19 and recovered from it, also expressed skepticism in the vaccine on Monday.

“I would ask the question to those who are getting vaccinated — why are you still getting COVID? … You can still get COVID and still pass it along if vaccinated,” Beal said.

Things could really get complicated for the NBA in places like New York City, where unvaccinated individuals are not allowed inside sports arenas and other indoor spaces. Irving was asked this week how that will be handled for him, and he didn’t have interest in discussing it.

Leaked video of LeBron James’ special minicamp for Lakers emerges

Lakers practice

If the Los Angeles Lakers were trying to keep their special LeBron James-led training camp under tight wraps, it appears that they were unsuccessful.

Twitter user @LakeShowChris_ posted multiple videos to the site this week of the Lakers practicing at his high school in Las Vegas, Nev. The practice was part of a three-day minicamp that was planned by James to build chemistry for the new-look team.

The footage was taken at an angle as the user tweeted that he took it from underneath the door to the gym. Players like James, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook could be seen putting in work while new assistant coach David Fizdale and others guided them. Take a look.

When reached for comment, the Twitter user told Larry Brown Sports that the gym was difficult to reach as both security and school principals were standing guard outside. He says he was able to find an alternate entrance however and filmed the above footage from underneath a locked door.

James, Anthony Davis, and Talen Horton-Tucker are the only Lakers left from last year’s team. While new signees Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo were all already Lakers in years past, the team still has a lot of first-time teammates to acquaint with one another. That appears to be the spirit behind the James-led minicamp, which is just the latest in an offseason of hard work for the Lakers.

Giannis Antetokounmpo says he is not best player in NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the NBA MVP in 2020 for the second time and topped that with an NBA title and Finals MVP Award in 2021.

Despite his ascension, the modest Antetokounmpo still doesn’t believe he’s the best player in basketball. In fact, the five-time All-Star doesn’t even believe he’s in the top five or six.

Antetokounmpo credits LeBron James for being not only the best player in the NBA, but in the world. There’s a solid list after that and then, Antetokounmpo says, he might fit in with the tier 2 guys.

“I like being a hunter. I am not the best player in the world. I am telling you, I am not! KD, LeBron, Kawhi, Luka, Curry, AD might be. I am not. I am still hunting the All-Time greats. LeBron is still the best player in the world,” Antetokounmpo said on Friday, via Harris Stavrou of SPORT24.

James has long been considered the league’s best player but there’s an argument to be made that’s no longer the case.

Antetokounmpo or Luka Doncic are the future of the NBA and in due time — perhaps even this upcoming season — they will become the face of the “best player” debate.

Did ex-Laker Markieff Morris take shot at LeBron James?

LeBron James

Markieff Morris made some comments this week that could be interpreted as a parting shot at one of his former teammates.

The new Miami Heat forward spoke Wednesday with Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. In the interview, Morris spoke about how easily the ball moves in the Heat offense.

“I feel like we have nobody on the team like just, ‘Give him the ball, and then everybody just watch and let them make the play,'” he said. “It’s a collective. We’re going to need everybody to score and rebound and defend every night. And that’s the best team to be on, when you don’t have to run to the corner every play and wait for a guy to make a play for you.”

Morris also said that he expected to be back with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason and was taken aback when he was not re-signed.

“I really didn’t expect it,” he added. “It’s business sometimes. There isn’t too much I can say about that. It was super unexpected. For sure, I thought I was going back to the Lakers. But, sometimes I’m not in teams’ plans and that’s how it works sometimes.”

Morris’ comments certainly seem to read as a shot at James and the Lakers. James once again had one of the highest usage rates in the NBA last season, and much of the Lakers’ offense has revolved around waiting for James to penetrate and make a play for others.

The 32-year-old Morris did win an NBA title with the Lakers in 2020. But he had scant averages in his Lakers career of 6.0 shot attempts in 18.7 minutes per game. Morris rarely hides the way that he truly feels, and this seems to be another instance of that.

LeBron James organizing special training camp for new-look Lakers

LeBron James

LeBron James knows the Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of work to do this season. That is why he is taking a special measure ahead of the upcoming season.

James is planning a special training camp for the Lakers that will take place this weekend. Stadium’s Shams Charania reports that the 3-day camp will take place in Las Vegas. The camp will focus on team chemistry building and will occur ahead of the team’s official start to training camp.

James has taken up similar measures in the past with the Lakers.

The camp seems to be essential this year.

The Lakers have remade their roster and have numerous new faces. They’ve added Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Kendrick Nunn, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan, Kent Bazemore, Rajon Rondo and Malik Monk. Some of the players have been part of the Lakers before, like Ariza, Howard and Rajon Rondo. Most of the players are entirely new, meaning they have a lot of bonding to do.

The Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Suns last season. They won the championship the season before that.

New Lakers assistant jokes about taking revenge on LeBron James

LeBron James

Nine years after getting humiliated by LeBron James on national television, John Lucas III is finally getting his chance for revenge.

Lucas, who was just hired by the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant coach, made a funny reference to his history with James in an Instagram post this weekend. Lucas was on the receiving end of a James poster in 2012. It was a particularly vicious one, as James jumped clean over Lucas for the dunk.

The now 38-year-old Lucas posted a picture of the moment and joked that he was going to make James run extra laps in practice.

“Man it just hit me that I will be coaching @kingjames the very man who jumped over me in a game,” Lucas wrote. “He going to have to do extra laps in practice for this.”

The four-time MVP James has put many a man on a poster in his 18 years in the NBA. Perhaps the Lakers should hire this guy as an assistant next so he can get his revenge on James as well.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

LeBron has great reaction to viral Kawhi Leonard, Paul George video

LeBron James

The Los Angeles Clippers officially broke ground on their new arena on Friday, and the team’s biggest stars were on hand to take part in the festivities. Some of them didn’t seem particularly thrilled about it, which was a great source of entertainment for LeBron James and others.

The Clippers held a live performance for personnel and fans at the site of the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, Calif. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were among those who had a front-row seat to the show, and a video went viral that showed them looking bored to death. LeBron had a great reaction on Twitter.

That’s exactly how most people who saw the video felt.

Leonard is known for rarely ever showing enthusiasm, and it has actually become a big part of his brand. The Clippers won’t move into their new arena until 2024-25 season, so perhaps that’s why Leonard wasn’t overly excited. More likely, though, is that it was simply Kawhi being Kawhi.

Carmelo Anthony shares hilarious story about the ‘Banana Boat Boys’

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony has always been considered a member of the “Banana Boat Boys,” but there’s one problem — he wasn’t actually on the banana boat. That has left us with some questions, and Carmelo was kind enough to answer them this week.

The “Banana Boy Boys” were born when best friends LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade all rode on an inflatable banana boat together in the Bahamas back in 2015. The three NBA stars lined up one right after the other with Wade’s wife Gabrielle Union at the front of the boat. Anthony was also on that trip, so why didn’t he saddle up?

Anthony was very candid about the banana boat during an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast. He was asked if not being invited on it was the worst moment of his career, but Carmelo says he was invited. He declined. Be aware that the video contains some inappropriate language.

“I didn’t get left out. They were already down there (in the Bahamas) and I was meeting them,” Anthony explained. “I had just flown in and we were, like, taxiing to the boat. They were already in the water doing water sports. I see them on the banana boat and I’m just like, ‘What is this?’ And they’re like, ‘Come on!’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not getting on that s—.'”

Anthony said he would have had no interest in riding on the banana boat even if he arrived in the Bahamas earlier. He does, however, consider himself a part of the “Banana Boat family.”

The “Banana Boat Boys” became so popular that other teams were still recreating it years later. Now that Carmelo and LeBron are finally teammates in L.A., Anthony had better embrace it more than ever.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rooting for LeBron James to break his all-time scoring record

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

LeBron James is closing in on one of the most iconic records in professional sports, and the current holder is 100 percent in his corner.

Retired basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke this week with veteran NBA writer Marc Stein. In the interview, Abdul-Jabbar said that he is rooting for James to break his all-time record for points scored.

“I’m excited to see it happen,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “I don’t see records as personal accomplishments, but more as human achievements. If one person can do something that’s never been done, that means we all have a shot at doing it. It’s a source of hope and inspiration.

“Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile back in 1954,” Abdul-Jabbar added. “Since then, not only have 1,400 runners beaten that time, but the new record is 17 seconds less. We all win when a record is broken and if LeBron breaks mine, I will be right there to cheer him on.”

Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points during his 20-year NBA career. He has held the all-time scoring record since 1984 when he surpassed the previous record holder, Wilt Chamberlain. James is currently at 35,367 points for his career, 3,020 behind Abdul-Jabbar. An 18-year veteran, James could break Abdul-Jabbar’s record by appearing in 70 games over the next two seasons and averaging 22 points per game, both very attainable marks for him.

While James does not always get love from players of that era, Abdul-Jabbar seems to be rooting for him every step of the way as James nears the record.