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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Articles tagged: LeBron James

LeBron James went viral for bringing snack to Summer League game

LeBron James looking on

Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is believed to have recently become the second NBA player ever to reach billionaire status. But even he apparently still has limits to what he’ll spend his hard-earned cash on.

On Friday, James attended the Los Angeles Lakers’ Summer League loss against the Phoenix Suns at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Sitting in the front row courtside, James looked to be eating a snack from a plastic bag that he had apparently brought to the game from home.

While the snack that James came to the game with isn’t known for sure, a video of James via NBA TV’s Twitter account seems to show James munching on what looks like a mixture of nuts and possibly seeds.

Concession prices at sporting events have gotten pretty expensive over the years, but James may have wanted to bring a healthier option than the calorie-packed hot dogs, nachos and pizza that most venues sell. James is somewhat notorious for his frugal spending, and one former teammate even referred to James as the cheapest NBA star to vacation with.

Perhaps James is trying to save as much money as possible so that he can pursue one post-playing career goal.

LeBron James’ son Bryce looks massive in new photos

Bryce James in a T-shirt

Bryce James shoots baskets as LeBron has some halftime advice for his oldest son Bronny in a AAU game at LeBron James Arena on Friday, July 2, 2021 in Akron, Ohio. Credit: PHIL MASTURZO via Imagn Content Services, LLC

LeBron James may not be the tallest member of his family for much longer.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers star shared some pictures of his teenage son Bryce at an AAU event over the weekend. In one shot, Bryce looked huge as he got his arm up above the rim for a dunk.

Another shot of Bryce standing next to his father at the event also sparked major buzz. In the photo, Bryce looked only a little bit shorter than the 6-foot-9 LeBron.

Here is what Bryce looked like in uniform during a recent game.

Bryce, who is the younger of LeBron’s two sons, only turned 15 years old a few weeks ago. He is an incoming sophomore at Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, Calif. and plays the guard position. With those eye-opening pictures, it is easy to see why Bryce has gotten the recent hype that he has.

LeBron James reacts to viral Bronny James dunk video

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

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 reacted on social media this week to a big dunk by his son, Bronny, that went viral.

Bronny played in an AAU showcase event called “The Battle” this past weekend. On Monday, Hoop Central re-posted a video of Bronny’s ferocious dunk to their Twitter page. In the video, Bronny was seen throwing down a vicious right-handed dunk, while his dad was on the bench dressed in a neon shirt. Rayvon Griffith, Bronny’s teammate with their AAU club “The Blue Chips,” slammed down another big dunk in the video that got LeBron out of his chair as well.

On Twitter Monday, LeBron quote-tweeted the video with seven “triumph” emojis.

The showcase took place at LeBron James’ alma-mater at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio.

In a different game during the same showcase, Bronny had an emphatic block that resembled many blocks that his father has made over the years.

According to 247 Sports, Bronny is the 47th-ranked player in the class of 2023 and the 12th-ranked player in the state of California. His top four college choices are all true blue blood programs: Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky.

Bronny will be eligible to enter the NBA Draft as early as 2024. In doing so, he could fulfill a longstanding wish of his dad.

Brittney Griner’s coach sounds off on Russian detainment

Brittney Griner smiles

Mar 12, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner in attendance of the Phoenix Suns game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Mercury and WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February, and Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard has apparently had enough.

Griner, a seven-time WNBA All-Star, plays in Russia during the WNBA offseason for UMMC Ekaterinburg. She has been detained in the country after being arrested on drug charges. Griner had a letter sent to President Joe Biden Monday via her representatives that expressed her fears over not being able to return to the United States.

While speaking to reporters Monday, Nygaard suggsted that if Griner were one of the NBA’s biggest stars, she’d have gotten to return to the United States by now.

“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right?” Nygaard said. “It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those. We know it.”

Nygaard was talking about NBA star LeBron James, who is also black, which runs countrary to part of Nygaard’s argument.

Griner has received support from various NBA players, including Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and multiple Boston Celtics players. Ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, some Boston players wore T-shirts with the message “We are BG.” The shirts also had a QR code linking to a petition calling for Griner’s return home.

Report: LeBron James ‘rooting hard’ for Lakers to land 1 star player

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

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

The idea of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James reuniting in Los Angeles is one that has been floated for weeks, and all indications are that both players are in favor of it.

NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote in his latest league roundup that LeBron is “rooting hard” for the Lakers to acquire Irving from the Brooklyn Nets. Stein was told by sources that James has made it no secret that he wants to play with Irving again.

“James, I’m told, wants to see Irving in Lakerland more than anyone,” Stein wrote, via Bleacher Report’s Rob Goldberg.

That is significant, especially for those who believe LeBron is the de facto general manager of the Lakers. James is also entering the final season of his contract, so one line of thinking is that L.A. will have extra motivation to keep him happy so he signs an extension.

The Nets and Lakers have reportedly discussed a swap of Irving and Russell Westbrook. Other players would have to be involved in the deal.

Westbrook did not look like a good fit with James and Anthony Davis last season. The Lakers would undoubtedly like to trade him, but the 33-year-old is owed $47.1 million next year. Irving is owed $37 million. There has not been a huge market for Kyrie, but two new teams are said to be pursuing him.

Video: Bronny James looked like clone of his dad on emphatic block

Bronny James looking on

Dec 7, 2019; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Sierra Canyon School guard LeBron James Jr (0) against Millennium High School during the 2019 Hoophall West basketball tournament at Chaparral High School. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bronny James is living up to his birth name — LeBron James Jr.

Bronny, the eldest son of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, went viral Saturday for an exclamation point of a block during a basketball showcase event called “The Battle.” Reuniting with his old middle school teammates on the AAU circuit (the North Coast Blue Chips), Bronny got up for a huge rejection in transition. He leapt high to spike an opponent’s shot off the glass, looking just like his famous father while doing so. Check it out.

Though it was more of a stride-for-stride block than his father’s trademark chasedown block, that was an impressive play by Bronny regardless. During the game, which took place at LeBron’s old high school (St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio), Bronny also hit some nice long-range shots (while his dad was in the building coaching).

The 17-year-old Bronny will be a senior at Sierra Canyon High School next year and is eligible to be selected in the 2024 NBA Draft. Absurdly enough though, he might not have the highest vertical among LeBron’s kids.

LeBron James reacts to Jazz’s new front office hire

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

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

The Utah Jazz hired former NBA head coach David Fizdale as an associate GM on Tuesday, and LeBron James was thrilled about the decision.

James quote-tweeted a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announcing Fizdale’s hire with a happy message.

“So [nine fire emojis]!! Yessir Fizz,” James wrote.

Fizdale, an 18-year NBA coaching veteran, will work closely with Jazz GM Justin Zanik and CEO Danny Ainge. The Jazz on Tuesday also announced their next head coach.

James and Fizdale have a relationship stemming from their time together with the Miami Heat. James supported Fizdale as a head coach candidate and was thrilled when Fizdale got his chance with Memphis. Fizdale coached the Grizzlies from 2016-2017 and Knicks from 2018-2019.

Fizdale went 50-51 with the Grizzlies before being fired. With the New York Knicks, Fizdale was fired after coaching the team to a 21-83 record. The Jazz seem to think that he will have more success in a front office role.

Fizdale spent the most recent season with the Lakers. He was one of many coaches that were let go by new Lakers head coach Darvin Ham after the season.

Kyrie Irving reportedly has mutual interest with only 1 team

Kyrie Irving giving an interview

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly given Kyrie Irving permission to seek a trade, but that does not mean there is much interest in the star point guard. If Irving does choose to leave the team, it may be with one specific destination in mind.

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News was told by sources that the Nets have given Irving the green light to pursue sign-and-trade scenarios. Irving has until Wednesday to decide if he will exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. He could opt in and agree to an extension with the Nets to facilitate a sign-and-trade, but where?

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team that has shown interest in potentially trading for Irving. They do not have the salary cap space to sign Irving if he declines his option, though there has been some talk of Kyrie taking the $6 million mid-level exception to reunite with LeBron James.

The interest between the Lakers and Irving is said to be mutual. Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Monday that there are people “very close to the situation who strongly believe Irving is trying to make his way to the Lakers here and everything else is just (necessary) noise.”

Of course, the Lakers still have to figure out what to do with Russell Westbrook. The idea of Westbrook going to Brooklyn in some sort of trade involving Irving has been floated, but a Westbrook-Kevin Durant reunion seems unlikely. Though, the two seem to have settled any beef they had previously.

Speaking of beef, Irving has been openly critical of LeBron in the past. The two won a title together with the Cleveland Cavaliers before Irving decided he did not like being the second option behind James. He later came to appreciate how difficult it is to lead a team and apologized to LeBron. At the very least, all indications are that the two have not closed the door on playing together again.

Kendrick Perkins makes big confession on podcast

Kendrick Perkins leans over

Nov 18, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins (5) reacts during the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

You never pray for an athlete to be injured unless of course you’re Kendrick Perkins and that athlete is LeBron James.

During a recent appearance on the Old Man and the Three podcast, Perkins admitted that he once feared James. He also admitted that prior to Game 7 of a 2008 second-round matchup between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, he prayed that James would suffer an injury.

“I got a confession,” Perkins said. “We played the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008 and it was a Game 7. We just had lost Game 6. And I’m not going to lie, man. I was scared as hell going into that Game 7 against LeBron James. And this was the only time that I actually prayed that something happened to him at practice.

“I was like, ‘let us get breaking news that LeBron has torn his ACL or something.’ I did, bro. I’m not even lying and I’m not even exaggerating … this is real. That’s how terrified I was of LeBron.”

Co-hosts JJ Redick and Tommy Alter were completely taken aback by Perkins’ admission and even suggested editing those comments out. Perkins insisted they not and then continued…

“Let me tell you,” Perkins said. “We got by the Hawks and I remember it was Game 6 in Cleveland and he drove down the lane and dunked on [Kevin Garnett] and James Posey. I seen it in his eyes because I was sitting on the bench — I had a horrible game. And I kept saying to myself, ‘we’re not getting past this mother f—–r. He’s coming in here and he’s going to beat us.’ I could see it.

“I was scared. I was like, ‘this is just a different dude right now’ and I was scared. And I actually was sitting up there really praying that I woke up to news that some type of way he was going to be out of the game.”

Pressured further on the torn ACL comment, Perkins refused to back down. He would not have been satisfied if James had sprained his ankle or come down with the flu because he felt like The King would play through it. He remained steadfast that he prayed for a debilitating injury.

“I did not want him to play in this Game 7,” Perkins said.

James ended up playing in that Game 7 and dropped an impressive 45 points. But it wasn’t enough as Perkins and the Celtics not only sent the Cavaliers home, but went on to win the NBA championship.

Pacers rookie has surprising challenge for LeBron James

LeBron James looking on

Jan 21, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of NBA rookies are open about their admiration for LeBron James. Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin is taking a very different approach.

Mathurin, the sixth overall pick in Thursday’s draft, made clear that he’s looking forward to testing himself against James. In fact, prior to the draft, Mathurin even said in an interview he needs to see James prove himself.

“A lot of people say he’s great,” Mathurin said, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “I want to see how great he is. I don’t think anybody is better than me. He’s going to have to show me he’s better than me.”

Mathurin does not seem to mean any disrespect here, for whatever it’s worth. If anything, the comment is similar to one an NFL rookie made about Tom Brady a year and a half ago.

It’s easy to laugh this off and dismiss it as cockiness, but James himself would probably admire the ambition and determination. Mathurin will almost certainly get a rude wake-up call about how good James is, but that self-belief should serve the Pacers rookie well over his career.