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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Articles tagged: LeBron James

LeBron James has telling take on Lakers coach

LeBron James yells during a game

LeBron James does not sound like he is ready for Frank Vogel to get David Blatt’d just yet.

The Los Angeles Lakers star was asked this week about the scrutiny that is facing Vogel and replied with a telling take.

“I think criticism comes with the job, you know?” said James, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Frank is a strong-minded guy. He has a great coaching staff. We as his players have to do a better job of going out and producing on the floor. We’re a team and an organization that don’t mind some adversity, that don’t mind people saying things about us, obviously, because it comes with the territory.

“We have a lot of guys on this team that have been bulletin-board material for quite a long time, so it don’t quite bother us,” the former MVP added. “Everything that we do stays in house when it comes to our preparation and how we prepare for our next opponent and how we prepare to get better. Frank doesn’t care and we don’t either about what people are saying.”

This amounts to a fairly strong defense of Vogel from James and one that Vogel definitely needs. The Lakers are just 12-12 on the season, leading to rumors of Vogel being on the hot seat. Another Lakers player recently even seemed to admit that Vogel was getting outcoached.

For James’ part however, he appears to be saying here that the Lakers will not listen to all of the outside noise calling for Vogel to be fired. Instead, James placed the onus directly on himself and his teammates to do a better job of performing. Hopefully that buys Vogel enough time to right the ship before the situation gets really dire.

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

Michelle Beadle says LeBron James, Maverick Carter hold grudge against her

Michelle Beadle

Michelle Beadle revealed recently that LeBron James openly wanted her to be fired from her job with ESPN before she left the network, and she says LeBron and his camp hold a grudge against her to this day.

Beadle made the surprising claim last month that James tried to get ESPN to fire her. She said it was awkward and that she was “honored” to even be on LeBron’s mind. As for why the Los Angeles Lakers star had an issue with her, Beadle speculated that it was because she mocked him over “The Decision” like so many other members of the media.

Beadle elaborated further on the “House of Strauss” podcast with Ethan Strauss this week. She said LeBron wanted her removed from “NBA Countdown” and had a specific person whom he wanted to replace her. Beadle also claimed LeBron’s longtime business partner, Maverick Carter, has given her the cold shoulder.

“He had a person at the network who he wanted. He wanted her to be the host of [NBA Countdown]. He does not like me, and I honestly have stopped trying to figure out why,” Beadle said, via Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post. “For some reason, it goes back years. I’ve been around Maverick Carter. He refuses to shake my hand.”

As Glasspiegel noted, LeBron likely wanted Beadle to be replaced with Rachel Nichols, which happened after ESPN bought out Beadle’s contract in 2019. Of course, that eventually led to more drama when Nichols bashed ESPN in a leaked audio recording.

James would probably say “who?” if he were asked about Beadle, but she seems pretty adamant that he wanted her gone. For what it’s worth, Beadle once drew the ire of another global sports icon.

DeMar DeRozan agrees with LeBron that NBA’s COVID protocol is ‘fishy’

DeMar DeRozan warming up

DeMar DeRozan now finds himself sympathizing with LeBron James after landing in the NBA’s COVID protocol.

The Chicago Bulls announced that the star swingman has entered health and safety protocols. DeRozan will miss at least Monday’s game with the Denver Nuggets. He will then need to produce two straight negative PCR tests in 24 hours or be subject to ten days of isolation, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Bulls head coach Billy Donovan added that the team does not currently know if DeRozan tested positive for COVID.

Shortly after the news broke, DeRozan had an interesting retweet on his Twitter page. He retweeted James’ tweet from last week indicating that something was “fishy” going on with the league’s COVID protocol.

James sent the tweet after entering COVID protocol himself last week. There were some reported discrepancies with the testing that he underwent, and James was said to be asymptomatic throughout. The former MVP was then abruptly cleared to return to the Los Angeles Lakers after additional testing concluded that he was not a positive case. James later shared what exactly bothered him about the league’s protocol.

It is unclear what the circumstances are with DeRozan. But after seeing the debacle with James, who is the face of the league, it makes sense that other players will question the accuracy of the NBA’s procedures from here.

Photo: Apr 7, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan (10) warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rips LeBron James for ‘childish’ behavior

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

One elder NBA statesman is not pleased with LeBron James’ antics.

In a video this week for Substack, retired basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ripped James for the obscene “Big Balls” dance that James did against the Indiana Pacers last month (video here).

“For me, winning is enough,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Why do you need to do a stupid, childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? It doesn’t make sense. GOATs don’t dance.”

Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most well-respected, dignified athletes of all-time and is certainly qualified to speak on the subject of GOAT behavior. As a six-time champion who won the most MVPs in league history and is also the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Abdul-Jabbar let his game speak for itself.

While Abdul-Jabbar is more than happy to show love to James for his play, it is all the extracurricular horseplay that Abdul-Jabbar clearly believes is unbecoming of a player of James’ magnitude.

Photo: Jul 18, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives for the 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lance Stephenson has funny admission about LeBron James ear-blowing incident

Lance Stephenson LeBron James ear

Lance Stephenson trying to direct Mother Nature into LeBron James’ ear canal is a moment that is forever immortalized in basketball mythology. Now Stephenson is making a funny admission about the incident some seven years later.

The former Indiana Pacers star spoke with HoopsHype this week and admitted that the 2014 ear-blowing episode was entirely spontaneous.

“I didn’t have it prepared,” said Stephenson. “It was all in the flow of the game. Being out there, competing. Everybody in the league is competitive, and wants that one thing; to win the game. Sometimes you do whatever it takes to win the game. That guy is a tough guy to guard, so you got to bring your all, and that’s what I did.

“I didn’t expect it to be shown,” Stephenson added about how the clip went viral. “I didn’t think it was going to be captured. They caught that right in the act of it. That was crazy.”

The image of Stephenson blowing into James’ ear is the lasting one of the Pacers’ heated rivalry with James and the Miami Heat in the mid-2010s. James ultimately had the last laugh as the Heat knocked the Pacers out of the playoffs that year as well as the two previous years before that. But the two players ended up burying the hatchet when Stephenson became James’ teammate on the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2018-19 season.

While the Stephenson-James beef is now in the past, memes live on forever. We will never forget some of the best ones about the ear-blowing incident.

LeBron James shares what about NBA’s COVID protocol bothered him

LeBron James yells during a game

The COVID-19 testing saga involving Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James continues.

Early last week, James was placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocol following a positive (lateral flow) test. Then things began to get a little strange — or “fishy,” as LeBron put it.

James took a second test, this time of the PCR variety, and that came back negative. A third test returned a positive. At that point, James was isolated and declared out for the team’s 117-92 win against the Sacramento Kings.

Further tests came back negative and James was cleared to return to the Lakers. The NBA released a statement explaining the situation from their side of things.

James was back on the court on Friday night, dropping 23 points in a 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. But it wasn’t the defeat he was interested in discussing after the game — it was the NBA’s COVID-19 policy and the inconsistent testing.

“I knew I was going to get cleared because I never, ever felt sick at all,” James said, via ESPN. “I just thought it was just handled very poorly.”

Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the NBA introduced more strict and rigorous testing to help protect their players in the event of a spread. It’s known that testing is not fool-proof, but James apparently believes he should be above all that.

“Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure,” James added. “There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight to isolation and you’ve been put into protocol. That’s the part that kind of angered me. I had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by myself. They wouldn’t allow anyone to travel with me, no security, no anything, when I traveled back from Sacramento.

“And then I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being, the people in my household in isolation for the time being, so it was just a big-time inconvenience. That was the anger part.”

The everyday Joe is not going to feel for James here. This is the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inconveniences have been felt in every household across the country.

James, who is fully vaccinated, also recently took issue with a mask policy at his son, Bronny’s, basketball game.

Image: 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 has complaint about mask policy at sons’ game

LeBron James yells during a game

LeBron James is voicing a new complaint this week, but this time it does not have to do with a foul that a referee called.

The L.A. Lakers star took to Twitter on Thursday to express disagreement with the mask policy at his sons’ Sierra Canyon basketball game.

“I’m sorry but I’m at my boys game and the mask underneath the chin makes ZERO sense to me!!” James wrote.

James was in attendance to watch his two sons, 17-year-old Bronny and 14-year-old Bryce, play. Video from the game showed players on both teams wearing masks under the chin, covering neither the nose nor the mouth.

Sierra Canyon is part of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), which follows California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance. On Nov. 24, the CDPH released a memo announcing that, during school-based extracurricular activities such as sports, participants are required to wear masks indoors at all times while not actively practicing, conditioning, or competing. But even if participants are actively practicing, conditioning, or competing in indoor sports, masks are still required “even during heavy exertion, as practicable.”

This “as practicable” language may help explain why players are wearing their masks over the chin while competing as a sort of loophole around the requirement. James failed to make clear whether he believes that masks should not be worn by athletes during competition or whether he believes that they should still be worn but worn properly. But what we do know is that the issue hits close to home for James, especially with his own COVID protocol drama this week.

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

Video: LeBron James’ 14-year-old son Bryce can now dunk

Bryce James in a T-shirt

Bronny is not the only son of LeBron James who can throw down.

14-year-old Bryce James, the younger son of the Los Angeles Lakers star, got up for a one-handed dunk during warmups in a viral video this week. The dunk is believed to be Bryce’s first ever on camera. Take a look.

Like his older brother Bronny, Bryce plays for Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, Calif. He is a guard who belongs to the class of 2025. While there are no reliable reports on how tall Bryce actually is, many on social media were surprised by a photo of him looking huge earlier this year.

17-year-old Bronny recently went viral for an impressive dunk of his own. But he could have some competition from his own sibling before long.

Photo: © PHIL MASTURZO via Imagn Content Services, LLC

LeBron James cleared to return after ‘fishy’ COVID test results

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

There has been a huge development on the LeBron James front.

James was placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocol on Tuesday. He missed the team’s 117-92 win against the Sacramento Kings that night.

Now here’s where things get weird.

On Tuesday, a report said James had taken three COVID-19 tests. The first (lateral flow) was positive, the second (PCR) was negative, and a third test was positive.

Already, James was receiving conflicting results.

Then on Wednesday, James tweeted that something fishy was going on, perhaps hinting that he was receiving more conflicting results, such as further negative tests despite two positive tests on Tuesday.

Shams Charania reports that James has continued to test negative and will be cleared to play on Friday.

Here is the league’s statement on the matter:

Isn’t that something? James had two positive tests on Tuesday, though the PCR test was negative. He has apparently tested negative ever since then. Yes, that is a fishy situation.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has cryptic tweet in apparent response to positive COVID test

LeBron James yells during a game

LeBron James has posted his first message to social media since testing positive for COVID, and it is a curious one to say the least.

The Los Angeles Lakers star took to Twitter on Wednesday with a cryptic message about how he thought that something was fishy.

“Something is REAL [fish emojis] going on,” James wrote.

The former MVP James entered health and safety protocols Tuesday due to a positive test. He will now miss a decent amount of games for the Lakers.

While it is not clear what exactly James thinks he is fishy, one can assume something odd is happening with his COVID tests. NBA writer Marc Stein noted that teams were notified on Nov. 19 that all players would be subject to increased testing from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 with daily COVID tests unless their team had an off day. Michael Babcock of TMZ Sports adds that James reportedly had three separate tests for COVID on Tuesday. The first, a lateral flow test, came back positive, the second, a PCR test, was negative, and a third tiebreaker test came back positive. After testing positive twice on Tuesday but receiving a negative test on Wednesday, James may have received more negative tests on Wednesday. That would explain why he might be so confused and consider the situation to be fishy. Furthermore, the star forward James is also said to be asymptomatic.

It has been a frustrating season for James, who already missed a chunk of time with an abdominal injury last month. The win-now Lakers are also just 12-11 on the year, which is eighth in the West. Additionally, James has lost some money this season, and now he appears to think that there may be something more sinister going on with his positive test.

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