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#pounditTuesday, January 18, 2022

Articles tagged: LeBron James

LeBron James facing a ‘lengthy absence’?

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

The Los Angeles Lakers will not have LeBron James for a few games, but there are some hints that he may be out longer than anticipated.

James is sidelined with an abdominal strain, and the Lakers have not put a firm timetable on his potential return. Coach Frank Vogel would only say on Saturday that James will likely be out at least a week, but offered no clarity beyond that.

James’ absence may be longer than that, according to a trainer who spoke to Bill Oram of The Athletic.

Oram spoke to former Lakers strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco, who said even minor abdominal strains can keep players out for four to eight weeks.

“Especially the way he plays, it’s tough for me to see him getting back under four weeks,” DiFrancesco said. “Then again, he’s a different dude, so I wouldn’t put anything past him. … These are such delicate injuries that can respond to rest with pain relief quickly, but they are highly susceptible to re-injury if returned too quickly.”

DiFrancesco also went into detail about the nature of the injury and recovery from it in an Instagram post.

It’s important to note that this is just one trainer’s opinion. The trainer cited in Oram’s article is not working directly with James. The Lakers’ medical staff may well have a very different opinion.

Initial reports suggested that the Lakers were simply being cautious with James this early in the season and talked about getting James back in one or two weeks.

It is worth noting though that James missed a good chunk of last season with an ankle issue. There are even some fears that his ankle injury has carried over into this season. The Lakers are likely being extra cautious with James.

Jae Crowder loved fan’s tribute to his taunt of LeBron James

Jae Crowder

Jae Crowder taunting LeBron James last postseason was a reminder that the NBA is truly where amazing happens. Now Crowder is showing love to a fan who immortalized the moment.

The Phoenix Suns forward tweeted a picture of a car sticker that he saw in the city this weekend. The sticker was of Crowder doing the salsa dance.

“DRIVING TO WORK AND SAW THIS ON MY WAY.!” Crowder wrote in his caption. “PHX I LOVE YOU ALL.!”

Crowder did the salsa dance during Phoenix’s first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers last June. As the Suns were on the verge of eliminating the Lakers in Game 6, Crowder used the dance to mock James. The Lakers star had done a salsa dance for a recent Mountain Dew commercial.

Crowder is only in his second season as a Sun, but the sticker is a reminder of just how much the local fans love him … and love clowning James.

Photo: Feb 22, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jae Crowder (99) works out before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James to miss time with abdominal injury

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

LeBron James has had an increasingly difficult time staying healthy over the past few seasons, and the Los Angeles Lakers star will once again be sidelined for multiple games.

James has been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to an abdominal injury. LeBron aggravated the injury during Tuesday’s win over the Houston Rockets, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports.

The Lakers have not given an official timeline for LeBron’s return, but McMenamin was told the team’s medical staff “wants to take their time” with the injury. James has already missed two of L.A.’s first eight games to start the year.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, LeBron will be held out for at least a week.

James will turn 37 next month. He suffered a high ankle sprain last season that cost him 20-plus games, and that injury may have lingered into this year.

LeBron is averaging 24.8 points per game this season, so he is still playing at a very high level. That said, his health is an obvious concern. The Lakers entered the season wanting to scale back his workload, but they’d prefer if injuries didn’t force them to do so.

LeBron James, Odell Beckham’s father have message for Browns about star WR

Odell Beckham Jr warms up

Odell Beckham Jr. has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s deadline, but the Cleveland Browns are not likely to move the star wide receiver. It seems like LeBron James wishes they would, and the same might be true for Beckham’s father.

Though Beckham has been the subject of trade rumors for years, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports that the Browns have no plans to deal him. LeBron, who is from Ohio, showed support for OBJ on Twitter not long after Russini shared that news.

The #FreeOBJ movement is one that Beckham’s father has apparently gotten behind as well. On Tuesday morning, Beckham Sr. shared a YouTube video on his Instagram account that shows several instances in 2021 where his son has been open but had nothing to show for it. The video, which was posted over a week ago, features several plays where Baker Mayfield either threw bad passes or did not realize OBJ was open.

In addition to sharing the video, Beckham Sr. also seemingly agreed with a commenter who said Mayfield “genuinely doesn’t wanna give Odell the ball.” You can see screenshots below:

Beckham has just 17 catches in six games this season. He’s probably frustrated, but he hasn’t admitted it publicly. One legendary receiver recently sounded off about how the Browns are misusing OBJ. Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski also took the blame this week for Beckham only getting one target in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Even if the Browns were open to trading Beckham, his value is probably quite low due to his injury history and lack of recent production. They’re better off trying to find ways to get him the ball, but they haven’t been able to do that consistently since acquiring him three seasons ago.

Photo: Oct 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) warms up before the game between the Browns and the Denver Broncos at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Creator of hit Netflix series takes shot at LeBron James over criticism

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

After scoring a smash hit TV series on Netflix, Hwang Dong-hyuk can now add a dunk on LeBron James to his stat sheet for 2021 as well.

Dong-hyuk, the creator of the wildly popular show “Squid Game,” spoke this week with Stuart Jefferies of The Guardian. In the interview, Dong-hyuk got in a dig at the Los Angeles Lakers star James, who had told reporters earlier this month that he did not like the ending of the show. He took a couple of hilarious shots at James, including a swipe at James’ own film career.

“Have you seen ‘Space Jam 2’?” joked Dong-hyuk. “LeBron James is cool and can say what he wants. I respect that. I’m very thankful he watched the whole series. But I wouldn’t change my ending. That’s my ending.

“If he has his own ending that would satisfy him, maybe he could make his own sequel,” Dong-hyuk went on. “I’ll check it out and maybe send him a message saying, ‘I liked your whole show, except the ending.’”

Dong-hyuk is definitely speaking from a position of strength. “Squid Game,” which was just released in September, has everyone talking and has already become Netflix’s most-watched series of all-time. Meanwhile, “Space Jam 2” barely broke even on its budget and was panned by fans and critics alike.

James still seemed pretty pleased with his work despite all the criticism. The same can be said of Dong-hyuk as well … even if James seems to be the only one speaking negatively about his show.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James’ ankle is still cause for concern?

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

LeBron James’ ankle injury derailed his 2020-21 season, and now there are some indications that the Los Angeles Lakers star is still not fully over it.

The Lakers added James to the injury report for Tuesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs with soreness in his right ankle. It is the same one where James suffered a high-ankle sprain last March, costing him 20-plus games.

Lakers reporter Mike Trudell notes that James referenced the ankle after Sunday’s win over Memphis. The four-time MVP collided with Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane in the second quarter. He was down for several seconds but was able to finish the game without issue.

At almost 37 years old with over 60,000 career minutes already under his belt, it makes sense that James might not heal as quickly and may be more prone to reaggravation. He did only manage to score a season-low 19 points on 7-for-19 from the field against the Grizzlies despite the Laker victory.

We know that the Lakers entered the season already wanting to limit James’ workload. Any flare-up in his troublesome right ankle will only add to their concerns about The King.

LeBron James takes aim at trolls dissing Dwyane Wade’s son

LeBron James in his Lakers uniform

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are family, having won two NBA titles in addition to posing on a banana boat together. Now James is going after the trolls targeting Wade’s son Zaire.

The Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s G League affiliate, selected the 19-year-old Zaire in the G League draft this weekend. While the pick made for a cool moment, many trolls clowned the move because Zaire was only a three-star prospect and because his father is a part-owner of the Jazz.

James responded to the haters via his Instagram Story on Saturday.

“Proud of you nephew,” wrote James of Zaire. “Keep going and F the haters. They ain’t [poop emoji] anyway.”

“Love to see it,” James wrote in a subsequent post. “Proud of my nephew journey because he traveled it his way. Happy as hell for my brother DWade cause I know how much he want to see it happen 4 him on his own terms! Black excellence you haters!!”

Zaire will play this season for the Stars in the hopes of improving his game as well as his NBA draft stock for 2022.

Of course, it is not surprising to see James come out in Zaire’s defense. Zaire and James’ son Bronny are close friends and even teamed up in high school.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Video: LeBron James dissed Suns player during blowout loss

LeBron James

LeBron James was not having any bit of the trash talk that a Phoenix Suns player sent his way during Friday’s blowout loss.

A clip of James chirping at Suns guard Cam Payne from the bench went viral this weekend. In the video, which you can see here, James told Payne, “Stay humble. You was at home a year-and-a-half ago, now you wanna pop off?”

The clip appears to have been from the third quarter, in which the Lakers fell behind by as many as 32 points. James still had a team-high 25 points in the loss, which dropped the Lakers to 0-2 on the season. Meanwhile, Payne finished with just four points in 19 minutes off the bench.

While the Lakers got charbroiled on Friday, you certainly can’t accuse James of not knowing his stuff. Payne was indeed out of the NBA playing in the G League a year-and-a-half ago before signing with the Suns. Thus, this has to be James’ best clapback since the one we saw in Chicago a couple years ago.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Browns RB had cool reaction to getting shoutout from LeBron James

LeBron James

Cleveland Browns running back D’Ernest Johnson had the best game of his career on Thursday night, and his stellar play earned him props from one of the greatest athletes of all time. The shoutout almost left Johnson speechless.

Johnson got 24 touches in the Browns’ 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos. The opportunity to play a huge role arose after both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were ruled out with injuries. Johnson made the most of it, rushing for 146 yards and a score. He also had 22 receiving yards. LeBron James was impressed.

A reporter informed Johnson after the game that LeBron had tweeted about him. The 25-year-old had a great reaction.

Johnson is a young player who is only in his third NFL season. Sure, he’s a pro athlete, but you can understand why someone in his position would be giddy about getting a shoutout from LeBron.

LeBron, of course, is from Ohio. He went out of his way to attend a Browns game earlier this season.

LeBron James has message for Russell Westbrook after rough Lakers debut

Russell Westbrook warming up

Russell Westbrook looked a lot more like Russell Worstbrook during his Los Angeles Lakers debut on Tuesday. One of his star teammates is encouraging him to keep his head up though.

After the Lakers fell to the Golden State Warriors in their season opener, LeBron James revealed his message for Westbrook, who had an awful game.

“I told Russ to go home and watch a comedy,” said James, per ESPN’s Dave McMemanin. “Do something that can put a smile on his face. He’s so hard on himself. I told him, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s one game.'”

Though James and Anthony Davis both dropped 30 points each, Westbrook had significantly less success on Tuesday. He scored just eight points on 4-for-13 from the field and posted a team-worst plus-minus of -23 in a seven-point loss. Westbrook also had four turnovers and missed all four of his three-point attempts.

The former MVP Westbrook has always played the role of either Batman or Robin to this point of his NBA career. Now that he has to be the Alfred to James and Davis, some growing pains are to be expected. But Westbrook was equally terrible in the preseason, so there might be some reason for concern if he does not round into form soon.

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.

Photo: 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