LeBron James’ attire ahead of Game 1 of his team’s playoff series against the Houston Rockets may not have been entirely coincidental.
The Los Angeles Lakers star wore a Los Angeles Dodgers cap prior to Friday’s series opener. The team posted an image of James’ fit to Twitter.
True, James could have just been wearing the cap for the fashion or to show support for his city’s baseball team. But with James about to begin a series against the Rockets, the cap very well might have been a subtle dig at the Houston Astros, who cheated the Dodgers out of the 2017 World Series.
Keep in mind that James tweeted a scathing reaction to the Astros’ cheating scandal back in February. His media company, Uninterrupted, is also producing a documentary series about the saga.
Granted, James was not yet a Laker when the Astros-Dodgers World Series took place. He has also openly rooted for other MLB teams before. Still, the timing here simply seems to good to be completely coincidental.
Former NBA player Richard Jefferson compared Giannis Antetokounmpo to Scottie Pippen on Wednesday night, and the ensuing commentary has spiraled a bit out of control.
With the Milwaukee Bucks losing the first two games of their series against the Miami Heat, Jefferson wondered out loud if Antetokounmpo might be unable to win an NBA title without a superstar teammate. Jefferson said that, like Scottie Pippen, Giannis may need a Michael Jordan.
Not surprisingly, Pippen disagreed with the comparison. He complimented Antetokounmpo for being an NBA MVP and said the two are their own players. He then took a shot at Jefferson. To Jefferson’s credit, he took the swipe in stride.
It didn’t end there. Former NBA point guard Jay Williams also got involved, saying there would be nothing wrong with Giannis needing another superstar to win a championship. Williams pointed out that LeBron James never won a ring until he teamed up with Dwyane Wade.
LeBron didn’t appreciate being dragged into the debate. We edited his response for profanity.
“Explain to me what the f— I gotta do with this subject matter! I’m over here minding my damn business preparing for Houston,” LeBron wrote. “And by the way I ain’t never been nobody but my damn self! S—!”
It seems like LeBron took that a bit personally, because Williams was obviously just trying to stick up for Giannis. If LeBron’s recent remarks about the NBA bubble are any indication, he’s probably feeling a bit more stressed than usual lately.
The NBA’s bubble environment can be difficult for all of its participants, even The King.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James told reporters this weekend that he often thinks about leaving the bubble.
“I’ve had numerous nights and days thinking about leaving the bubble,” said James, according to Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “I think everyone has, including you [media] guys. I don’t think, it’s not one person that has not had a mind that says, ‘I’ve gotta get the hell out of here.’ … It probably crosses my mind about once a day.”
James is coming from a very understandable and a very human standpoint. The NBA bubble is now at its 50th day, and that is more than enough to give anyone cabin fever. It must be especially so with everything going on in the world right now and with the participants away from their families.
Another star has openly discussed his struggles in the bubble environment too. Families and other limited guests will be allowed to visit starting in the second round though, so hopefully that offers some sense of normalcy.
LeBron James has been battling opponents on the court for decades and fighting off the hair gods the last several years as well.
Fans and observers have noticed for years that James has a receding hairline that he continues to cover up. On Saturday, James’ hair looked especially thin in spots, and viewers were all over it with the memes, commenting on the shape it yielded.
James knows all about his hair struggle and has poked fun at himself for it over the years.
Charles Barkley has long urged James to “come on home” and embrace baldness with a shaved head, but the 35-year-old Los Angeles Laker continues to fight the good fight.
LeBron James spoke with President Obama for advice this week, according to a report.
James walked out of the meeting between NBA players on Wednesday night and spoke with the former U.S. president. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Obama advised the players to play. Chris Paul and a few others who joined James on the call reportedly hoped to have Obama involved in their committee for player action.
According to Charania, James supported the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision not to play on Wednesday, but he wanted to know what the plan and outcome was.
After Wednesday’s day of games being canceled due to the players striking, NBA players met on Thursday. The players agreed to continue playing, and the playoff schedule will resume on Saturday. James reportedly was silent during that meeting.
A separate report says younger players and owners were turned off by James, who spoke at the end of Thursday’s meeting.
James’ Lakers lead their first-round playoff series 3-1 against the Portland Trail Blazers. Game 5 is scheduled to be played on Saturday.
LeBron James is typically one of the most outspoken players in sports when it comes to social issues, but we haven’t heard a whole lot from the Los Angeles Lakers star since three days of playoff games were postponed. It’s possible LeBron is irritated with how things are being handled, but apparently his behavior has been a source of frustration for some of his peers.
James reportedly walked out of a meeting on Wednesday night that took place after the Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott their game. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that LeBron supported the Bucks and the boycott, but he was bothered by players and the league having no set plan for how to proceed. LeBron felt better about where things stood the next day, so he was more vocal during a meeting on Thursday. However, he may not have done a great job of expressing his feelings.
According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, some younger players were bothered by how LeBron spoke to them during Wednesday’s meeting before he abruptly left.
“The younger generation of players were not having what they were hearing from LeBron James because of the fashion in which he spoke to them,” Smith said. “When he stormed out, I was told it was, in part, because of that. He sort of came off like, ‘I got mine, I don’t need this,’ and walked out.”
Then on Thursday, Smith says LeBron “turned everybody off” when he gave a long-winded speech at the end of a meeting that everyone thought was in the books.
“When everybody thought the meeting was over, LeBron James grabs the mic and, from what I’m told, talks for about 15 minutes,” Smith said. “He’s talking for about 15 minutes in a fashion that turned everybody off because they had already agreed to what they were going to do moving forward. He was talking about ‘the guys beneath me — I have to look out for the guys beneath me.’ … He came across as if he was the king with some crown.”
None of this is a good look for LeBron. At a time when players are trying to show they are unified, the reports about LeBron make it seem like he is adamant about being the center of attention.
Smith’s information about LeBron isn’t the only unflattering report we have heard about the way a player carried himself during meetings in Orlando this week.
H/T Big Daddy
NBA players met on Thursday morning and came to the decision that they want to continue with the season, but apparently they did not hear a whole lot from the most influential player in the game.
Jeff Goodman of Stadium was told by a player who attended the meeting that all players in attendance agreed they want to resume the playoffs. The player complimented the job NBA Players Association president Chris Paul and vice president Andre Iguodala did in leading the discussions. Perhaps the most surprising report is that LeBron James did not speak at all during the meeting.
It seems hard to believe that LeBron would say nothing at all. He’s the most powerful voice in the NBA, and he is typically very outspoken in these types of situations. His supposed silence could indicate he is frustrated with the way things have been handled, though Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports that LeBron agreed it is in the league’s best interest to finish the season. Haynes was also told there was significant frustration on Wednesday night with players not being on the same page.
LeBron supposedly walked out of Wednesday night’s meeting. One report claimed he and Kawhi Leonard were adamant about not finishing the playoffs, though Damian Lillard seemed to shoot that down.
Three playoff games were postponed on Wednesday, and the same will happen on Thursday. The expectation is that play could resume Friday or over the weekend.
Damian Lillard seems to be calling b.s. on a report about LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.
The Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner reported on Wednesday night that James and Leonard spoke at the NBA players’ meeting and were adamant about not playing the rest of the NBA playoffs.
Lillard responded with a comment on Instagram that suggested he thought the report was bad information. He asked “where they get this info?”
There have been mixed reports about what has happened. One report said the Clippers and Lakers voted in an informal poll not to keep playing the season. Other reports have said things were emotional and players need a day to gather themselves.
In separate meetings, NBA players and owners are expected to talk on Thursday about how to proceed.
As for Lillard, his Trail Blazers are down 3-1 in their first-round playoff series against the Lakers. Lillard reportedly is leaving Orlando and returning to Portland to have his knee examined.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers voted to end the NBA season, according to a report.
NBA players held a meeting on Wednesday night after three playoff games were postponed. The postponements were triggered by the Milwaukee Bucks deciding not to play what would have been Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic. The other two games scheduled for the day were later postponed as well.
In the players meeting, the Lakers and Clippers reportedly were the only two teams that voted not to continue. LeBron James, the star player of the Lakers and league headliner, reportedly exited the meeting.
If the players on those teams decide not to continue the season, it will be hard for the NBA to actually conduct a valid remaining season without them.
Even the Bucks and Toronto Raptors, which were vocal in considering shutting things down, reportedly voted in support of continuing. It’s unclear what happens from here. NBA owners are reportedly set to meet on Thursday. A previous report said the NBA season was in jeopardy, and it sounds like that is definitely the case.
Note that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the vote was more of a polling and not an official decision.
Following the most unprecedented regular season in the history of the NBA, the 2020 playoffs have officially kicked off. Familiarity truly does breed contempt, and housing all of the postseason adversaries in one compound has only furthered the intensity.
Here are four of the standout performers from the first week of the NBA playoffs.
Every generational superstar has a defining moment or game in their career when their greatness becomes abundantly clear. Kobe Bryant’s came during the 2000 NBA Finals when he was just 21 years old, as he led the Lakers to a game four victory in overtime after Shaquille O’Neal fouled out. For LeBron James, it was scoring 25 straight points as the Cavaliers upset the Detroit Pistons in 2007. Despite it only being the first round of the playoffs, Luka Doncic’s Game 4 performance was his moment.
Nothing signifies the gravity of a moment quite like a “double BANG” from Mike Breen. The only thing more impressive than the shot itself was that it served as the exclamation point to cap off Doncic’s 43 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists triple-double effort. After rolling his ankle in the Maverick’s Game 3 loss, there was little reason for optimism in Dallas until Doncic delivered the most memorable game of the postseason so far. Doncic’s game has never been based around quickness; even on an injured ankle he’s been able to penetrate the Clippers’ defense at will.
In the playoffs, the Mavericks have simplified their offense. They regularly allowed Doncic to seek the mismatch he desires by forcing a switch through a ball screen. Watching Doncic dissect the defense is puzzling at times, as it appears almost as if he is lumbering around the screen until the moment he detects the opening and in one powerful burst he’s gone. His underrated explosion and size are reminiscent of James Harden, and factoring in the number of stepback threes each player makes, their shot profiles are remarkably similar.
The ultimate compliment for an NBA player comes from their opponents; look at what some of the NBA’s best had to say about Doncic.