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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

Articles tagged: LeBron James

LeBron James explains reasoning behind his Lakers extension

LeBron James

LeBron James had two years remaining on his previous contract when he signed a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers last week. Many immediately pointed out that his current deal with the team now expires in 2023, which is when his son Bronny is set to graduate high school. That is not a coincidence.

LeBron spoke with the media on Monday about his new contract, and he confirmed that he wanted to have flexibility for when Bronny graduates, according to Kyle Goon of the Southern California New Group. Of course, LeBron has also mentioned in the past that he wants to play in the NBA with his son, and Bronny could be eligible for the NBA Draft in 2023 if the league and NBPA change the rules for high schoolers turning pro.

James probably could have signed any deal he wanted with the Lakers, and there was no need for him to make a decision this offseason. Both he and Anthony Davis signed longer contracts than many expected them to, and LeBron said that is an illustration of how committed the two superstars are to the Lakers.

The deals LeBron and Davis signed have an interesting consequence for the Lakers, as they now may be out of the running for a certain superstar player.

LeBron will turn 39 in the final year of his new contract, so it’s entirely possible it will be the last one he signs.

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 James has hot take about his bubble championship

LeBron James

Having been victorious in the Orlando bubble, LeBron James can safely say that the title came with very different challenges from his previous one.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar appeared this week on the “Road Trippin'” podcast with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. During the episode, James said that the Golden State Warriors might have thrashed the Cavs in 2016 in a bubble setting.

“Just imagine in ’16,” said James. “We’re down 3-1 [in the series]. If we’re down 3-1 in ’16, and we’re not going back to Cleveland? We’re just playing another game in the bubble? Golden State may beat us by 100.”

Recall that in 2016, the Cavaliers won Game 5 in Golden State, returned to Cleveland to win Game 6, and went back to Golden State to take Game 7 and the title. James has also stated that he likes the adversity of playing on the road and feeding off the hostility of the away crowd.

The Orlando bubble was certainly a unique experience, forcing teams to fight playoff battles with no crowd, no travel, and no homecourt advantage. James was also vocal about the struggles of staying sane in the bubble, so it is safe to say that he is probably especially proud of the 2020 championship.

LeBron James signing contract extension has interesting consequence for Lakers

LeBron James

LeBron James on Wednesday agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, which is good news for the team. But it does have one other consequence and will likely put some rumors to rest.

Anthony Davis is a free agent and still has not signed a new deal with the Lakers. One theory for why he hadn’t yet signed was that he was waiting to see what Giannis Antetokounmpo did first. The thinking is that if Giannis did not commit to the Milwaukee Bucks long term, Davis and James would take less money to make room for Antetokounmpo on the Lakers.

But with James agreeing to a two-year, $85 million extension with the Lakers, the chances of that happening are reduced. The Lakers would have less money available for free agents next offseason and would need Giannis and Davis each to take about $5.6 million less than their max amount in order to make it happen.

So the consequence to LeBron taking max money is that it takes the Lakers out of the running for Giannis, unless Antetokounmpo and AD take reduced pay. Maybe Giannis is planning to re-sign with the Bucks anyway, which would make this entire scenario moot.

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 James signs two-year max extension with Lakers

LeBron James

LeBron James still had two years remaining on the initial contract he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the NBA Finals MVP has inked a new deal with the team.

LeBron has signed a two-year, $85 million max contract extension with the Lakers that runs through the 2022-23 season. His agent, Rich Paul, confirmed the news to Shams Charania of The Athletic on Wednesday.

LeBron initially signed a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers in 2018 that included a player option for the 2021-22 season. The extension likely shifts the player option to the 2022-23 season. James will now be on the books for $42 million when he is 39 years old.

Anthony Davis has yet to sign a new deal with the Lakers, and one interesting theory recently emerged about why that is. The Lakers will likely take care of his contract now that LeBron’s is straightened out.

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.

Bronny James is looking massive in viral photo

Bronny James

A photo of Bronny James looking absolutely massive went viral on Wednesday.

Bronny is 16 and a sophomore at Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles. He is an emerging prospect as a basketball player, and his stock may be soaring now that he’s obviously hit a massive growth spurt.

This photo came from a workout Bronny had with his father, LeBron.

Bronny was looking huge and already like a full-grown man even at 16.

The photo led to all kinds of jokes of the sort:

And here is a comparison of LeBron at 16 vs. Bronny at 16.

Bronny looks like he’s in a totally different world from his dad when it comes to having a developed body. He is going to be a factor. One former NBA All-Star has said that Bronny is going to be “special.

Photo: Colin Hass-Hill/Eleven Warriors via CC-BY-SA 2.0

The LeBron Effect: How LeBron James impacted his Lakers teammates

LeBron James

Given the monumental impact that star players have in the NBA, the simple fact that basketball is a team game can often get overlooked. One of the defining tests of NBA superstardom is a player’s ability to positively influence his teammates’ play. Stars can improve a teammate’s play through not only their own play, but also their presence; the greatest players of all-time carry an aura with them that embodies winning.

Four-time NBA champion and Finals MVP LeBron James has illustrated this aura throughout the entirety of his 17-year career. James has the power to thrust his teammates into an unfamiliar position — directly in the spotlight.

If these players deliver when they are called upon, their legacies are cemented next to role players like Steve Kerr, whose famous 1997 Finals-winning shot lives on eternally in the Role Player Hall of Fame. Failure to deliver, however, means a player will be exposed to a level of scrutiny unlike ever before. This phenomenon experienced by James’ teammates can be known as the “LeBron Effect.”

James’ impact on his teammates is so profound that his influence was felt not just by younger players, but also by accomplished veterans like Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo over last season.

Here is a look at how James impacted the play of his teammates last season.

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LeBron James trolls Donald Trump over election result

LeBron James

Frequent Donald Trump critic LeBron James was quick to react on Saturday after Trump was projected to lose his re-election bid.

Major news networks and other news sources officially projected that Trump had been defeated by former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday morning. That prompted a social media response from James, who trolled Trump on Instagram with an edited image of one of the most famous and iconic moments of James’ career.

The conflict between James and Trump turned personal at times. Crowds at Trump rallies had even turned on James in recent weeks.

This is far from the first time James has gone after Trump on social media. With Trump set to leave office in January, it may be one of the last.

LeBron James reacts to possible NBA December return

LeBron James

LeBron James has made his feelings on the NBA’s proposed December start quite clear.

On Thursday, the NBPA tentatively agreed to a proposed Dec. 22 start date for a shortened 2020-21 NBA season. That will give teams who played deep into the offseason very little time to rest and prepare for the new campaign.

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of those teams. The schedule would leave just 71 days between the Lakers’ championship and the start of a new season, making it the shortest offseason in the history of America’s four major professional sports.

James happened to see that stat on ESPN Friday, and he didn’t hide his displeasure.

James isn’t a fan. That’s not a shock. One of his teammates questioned whether he’d even play the first part of the season in this scenario. We don’t know for sure yet, but it doesn’t sound like James approves of what the players and league agreed to.

‘LeBron James sucks’ chant breaks out at Trump rally

LeBron James

Donald Trump made his last round of appearances at various U.S. cities on Monday in advance of the presidential election, and LeBron James became a topic of discussion at one of the rallies. Let’s just say people did not have nice things to say about the Los Angeles Lakers star.

As he often does, Trump spoke at a Pennsylvania rally about the social justice movement in the NBA and said the league’s decrease in television ratings can be attributed to it. The president said he “felt badly for LeBron” because of the lower ratings in the playoffs. It wasn’t long before a “LeBron James sucks!” chant broke out.

LeBron is openly anti-Trump and has bashed the president and his administration numerous times in the past. Trump has responded by criticizing LeBron and the NBA for their relationship with China.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has stood behind LeBron in the past during some of the Lakers star’s social media spats with Trump.

LeBron James shows love to DK Metcalf with new nickname

LeBron James

It’s clear that LeBron James is a big fan of Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.

On Sunday, James posted a picture of Metcalf on social media, adding a comment that he and Metcalf are “built different.” James even added his own nickname for the Seahawks star: “Baby Bron.”

That one just might catch on. Fortunately for Metcalf, LeBron is a pretty good athlete to be favorably compared to.

It’s also understandable that James sees some of himself in Metcalf. Both are big, physical stars with immense skill to match their strength and agility. You only need to see this play Metcalf made to understand just how special he is.

Metcalf added two more touchdowns to his season total on Sunday, bringing him up to seven for the year in as many games.