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#pounditTuesday, August 9, 2022

Articles tagged: LeBron James

Patrick Beverley has surprising comments about rival 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

LeBron James feels like one of Patrick Beverley’s biggest personal rivals, but you wouldn’t know it based on some comments Beverley made this week.

Appearing recently on ESPN’s “NBA Today,” the Minnesota Timberwolves guard Beverley named the one NBA superstar he would most like to play with. Surprisingly enough, Beverley picked James, adding that it was an “easy” decision.

On the surface at least, the Beverley-James relationship has been nothing but animosity over the last several seasons. Beverley made no secret of his disdain for James when the two both used to play in Los Angeles, and the clowning continued during the three times that Beverley’s Timberwolves blew out James’ Lakers this season. James even seemed to fire back at Beverley with a dig on social media last month.

But it turns out that this may all just be gamesmanship and competitiveness with no real bad blood existing between James and Beverley. After all, that is just who Beverley is with everybody he faces in the NBA — an elite troll.

Report: Phil Jackson suggesting Lakers make drastic roster move

Phil Jackson in a suit

Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Jackson seems to want the Los Angeles Lakers to go full Keyser Söze mode this offseason.

Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times said this week during an appearance on “The Doug Gottlieb Show” that he has heard Jackson, who has recently been advising the Lakers, would like them to trade LeBron James. Plaschke, who has covered the Lakers and L.A. sports for several decades, including when Jackson still used to coach the Lakers, did add that there is nothing “on the record” to back up the claim that Jackson wants James traded. But Plaschke did also say that Jackson would like the Lakers to keep Russell Westbrook and try to make it work with him.

Jackson, who coached the Lakers to five NBA titles, is the ex-fiancé of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and remains close with her. He was recently revealed to be advising the Lakers again and will have a key part in one major upcoming decision for the team.

This may be a case of Jackson being proactive with his suggestions, realizing that James, who averaged 30 points per game this season, still has plenty of trade value while Westbrook has little to none right now. Jackson would not be the first one to propose the Lakers move on from the 37-year-old James while they can still get something in return for him. But it is worth noting that James and Jackson have prominently feuded in the past.

H/T Silver Screen & Roll

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss rips LeBron James ‘LeGM’ talk

Jeanie Buss looking on

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has been consulted on major roster decisions throughout much of his career. It is obvious that he has had input into moves the Los Angeles Lakers have made since they signed him, but owner Jeanie Buss resents any talk of LeBron and his representatives running the team.

Buss told Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times this week that bouncing ideas off your top players is “smart business.” She also said she wants to make sure LeBron is happy with the team around him. However, Buss draws the line at any talk of James and Klutch Sports calling the shots in L.A.

“Do they have final say? No. Are they running the team? No, no, not at all,” Buss said. “I am controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I’m held accountable for every decision that’s made here.”

A recent report claimed the Lakers’ front office has been internally pointing the finger at LeBron and company for the failed Russell Westbrook trade. Klutch Sports, which represents both James and Anthony Davis, supposedly pressured the Lakers to make the move.

Buss said the results for the Lakers this season were “hugely disappointing” and that she is prepared to make big changes this offseason. LeBron recently tried to claim he will not be part of those decisions, which most people found laughable.

LeBron is often referred to as “LeGM” for a reason. Even if he is not consulted on every roster move, he probably has veto power. Just don’t expect Buss or anyone else with the Lakers to admit that publicly.

H/T New York Post

Michelle Beadle calls out LeBron James

Michelle Beadle on ESPN

Michelle Beadle has spoken openly in the past about the tension between her and LeBron James, and apparently there was a time when the Los Angeles Lakers star tried to address it privately.

During a recent appearance on “The Sessions” podcast with Renee Paquette, Beadle was asked about the status of her relationship with LeBron James. She reiterated that LeBron doesn’t like her and said she thinks it may have to do with her criticizing “The Decision” like so many others. Beadle also revealed that James once sent her a direct message asking why she has been critical of him.

“I made fun of ‘The Decision,’ and I was one of about a bazillion people that did. … It was hilarious,” Beadle said, via Jonathan Sherman of Lakers Daily. “And I remember I got a — this was a long time ago. I guess when I followed him, and I got a DM that was like, ‘Why are you so mean to me on television?’ And I just sort of laughed it off. I didn’t even think about it.”

Aside from her mocking “The Decision,” Beadle said the only thing she can think of is that LeBron and others had parties at the London Olympics and she never attended. Perhaps that bothered James. She has also bashed him on TV numerous times, though she says that was just part of her job.

If you remember, Beadle said last year that LeBron tried to get ESPN to fire her. She joked that she was “honored” to know she is on the mind of one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Beadle later said that James and his longtime business partner hold a grudge against her for reasons unknown.

LeBron would probably say “who?” if he were asked about Beadle, but she seems pretty adamant that he has a major issue with her.

Newest LeBron James movie being filmed in Akron

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

The production company owned by LeBron James and Maverick Carter is working on another film, and this one is based on the Los Angeles Lakers star’s life.

NBC’s streaming service Peacock on Monday announced the release of three original movies that are coming in 2023. One of them is “Shooting Stars,” which follows LeBron’s origin story as a high school basketball player in Ohio. Filming is currently underway in LeBron’s hometown of Akron.

Academy-award nominees Rachel Winter and Terence Winter are producing the movie along with The SpringHill Company, which was founded by James and Carter.

Some information about the movie has been trickling out for a while. We learned several weeks ago which actor will be playing LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, in the film, and the choice is somewhat surprising.

LeBron has been dabbling in Hollywood for quite some time and recently starred in “Space Jam 2.” His newest movie should be a bit more serious in nature.

Lakers teammate defends LeBron James against criticisms

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

One Los Angeles Lakers player is playing harder defense in the offseason than anyone on the team did all year.

Lakers guard Kent Bazemore spoke this week with TMZ Sports and offered a strong defense of teammate LeBron James against the criticisms that James faced this season.

“The dude was third in the league in scoring,” reasoned Bazemore of James. “What else do you want him to do? He put his body through a lot this year to be there for us.

“Dude has done a lot, man,” Bazemore added. “He’s chasing Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record]. He’s done a lot for the game, He’s given a platform to a lot of people. He’s changing the world.”

Bazemore, one of the Lakers’ offseason signings that did not pan out in 2021-22, will be a free agent this summer. Thus, this may be his way of staying in James’ good graces and maximizing his chances of coming back.

From an objective point of view though, James deserved all the criticism he faced this year, especially since the Lakers lost 49 games and missed a 20-team postseason. While James had superb scoring numbers, he also posted his lowest assist numbers in nearly a decade and often froze his teammates out of the offense. James failed to adapt his game to accommodate Russell Westbrook, and his scoring numbers were also inflated by James regularly staying in games late despite the Lakers getting blown out. Bazemore even let slip here that James was chasing Abdul-Jabbar’s record this season.

Additionally, the ex-MVP James often exhibited poor leadership this season. Combine that with the Lakers’ collective struggles as a team, and it seems like totally fair game to point the finger at James for the Lakers’ failures.

Report: Lakers’ front office pointing finger over Russell Westbrook trade

Russell Westbrook warms up

Oct 6, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook prior to the preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers would not have traded for Russell Westbrook last offseason if LeBron James did not, at the very least, provide his stamp of approval. Now that the deal was a disaster, it would appear that all of those involved are hesitant to claim responsibility for it.

According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, the Lakers’ front office has internally been pointing the finger at Klutch Sports Group for the Westbrook trade. Klutch Sports represents both James and Anthony Davis. Lakers executives are reportedly claiming they made the deal primarily because of pressure from the two star players.

It goes without saying that the Lakers want to keep LeBron happy. Star players have seemingly more power than ever in the NBA, which is why general managers and executives often consult them on roster decisions. If a team goes against the wishes of a star player, that player might demand a trade or refuse to sign an extension.

All that said, it is ultimately the front office’s responsibility to make the moves that are best for the franchise. If Lakers executives thought trading for Westbrook was a bad move, they should not have done it. If they agreed with James and company that it would help the team, they are just as much to blame.

Westbrook’s erratic shooting and overall poor play was one of L.A.’s biggest issues this season. LeBron has already tried to shield himself from blame over the trade, but the reality is he and some of those who work above him misjudged the situation badly.

LeBron James makes bold promise about rest of his playing career

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 not playing in the postseason this year for the first time since his rookie year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Los Angeles Lakers star does not intend to let that happen again.

LeBron watched some playoff basketball on TV this week. He took to Twitter to express how much he disliked the feeling.

“I can/will NOT miss the post season again for my career! This s— HURT,” James wrote (edited by LBS for profanity). “Ok back to watching these games.”

LeBron will turn 38 next season. His body has shown some signs of aging from an injury standpoint, as he has played in 56 or fewer games in three of the last four seasons. James has still been dominant when on the floor, however. He averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game this year.

The Lakers have to make some big changes this offseason if LeBron is going to fulfill his playoff promise. Many people criticized them from the start last year about the average age and injury history of their roster. Those critics are not going to be silenced by the recent ex-All-Star the Lakers were linked to.

LeBron James names the best coach in the NBA

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 knows who his pick is for the best coach in the NBA.

James was watching the play-in game between the New Orleans Pelicans and LA Clippers on Friday night and couldn’t help but praise his former coach.

“Simply the BEST coach in the game! ARGUE with your kids not me,” James wrote on Twitter.

He wasn’t talking about Frank Vogel, that much we could tell you.

James was actually talking about Tyronn Lue, who coached James in Cleveland.

Lue was an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers for a season and a half. He became the team’s head coach in Jan. 2016 after replacing David Blatt. Lue led the Cavs to the championship that season and then to two more NBA Finals appearances, where they lost to the Warriors both times.

Lue was fired after a 0-6 start to the 2018-2019 season, which was the Cavs’ first season after James left for the Lakers. Lue’s presence in Cleveland obviously was not a deterrent for James.

Lue is in the middle of his second season as the Clippers’ head coach. He helped them reach the conference finals last season and on Friday was trying to coach his team into the 8th seed in the playoffs.

Was LeBron James laughing at Patrick Beverley over big play-in celebration?

LeBron James in a purple Lakers sweater

LeBron James may be in Cancun right now, but he still appears to have gotten a kick out of Tuesday’s play-in tournament game.

Patrick Beverley and the Minnesota Timberwolves clinched the No. 7 seed in the West with their play-in victory over the LA Clippers. After the game, Beverley celebrated the win so hard and was even in tears at one point.

Soon after the game went final, James tweeted several laughing-face emojis.

While James did not say what he was laughing at, the Wolves-Clippers game was the only NBA game on at the time, leading fans in the replies to think he was laughing at Beverley. James’ old Lakers teammate Kyle Kuzma had also sent a tweet clowning Minnesota just minutes before James did.

There is some definite history between Beverley and James. Beverley always goes extra hard against James and would often diss James when he used to play as a Clipper versus James and the rival Los Angeles Lakers. One reason is that Beverley has always held it against James that the Miami Heat cut him shortly after James arrived there.

As for Tuesday’s victory, it was clearly a very meaningful one for Beverley, especially coming against his old team and for a franchise in the Wolves that has historically been pretty lousy. But James, who has made ten NBA Finals and won four rings, seems to think that Beverley should be acting like he has been there before. That said, James also has a way of celebrating really hard during inopportune times.

Photo: 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