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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Articles tagged: LeBron James

Video: Charles Barkley cracks funny joke about LeBron James not wearing clothes

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is known for bringing the jokes on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” show, and Thursday night was no exception.

Barkley cracked a funny line about LeBron James, saying he takes his clothes off more than strippers do.

Not only was James showing some skin in that clip played by TNT, but the Los Angeles Lakers star also had an open shirt look around the NBA’s campus in Orlando that Dwyane Wade trolled him over.

Barkley may have been poking fun at LeBron, but let’s not forget that Chuck has been known to take his shirt off on the show from time-to-time.

James’ Lakers have clinched the top spot in the Western Conference and are awaiting the winner of the Grizzlies-Blazers play-in to see who will be their opponent in the first round of the playoffs.

ESPN reporter explains controversial reason for voting LeBron MVP over Giannis

LeBron James

Many people view Giannis Antetokounmpo as worthy of winning his second straight NBA MVP award, but ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne says she voted for LeBron James instead.

Why did Shelburne vote for James? She shared her reason during a Tuesday appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump.”

“I did not vote for [Giannis Antetokounmpo] for MVP. I voted for LeBron James because I tend to be more of a narrative-based voter. I feel like LeBron James took a Lakers team that had missed the playoffs six years in a row up to the stop spot in the West after all the dysfunction the summer before. So I think he gets credit for that as well,” Shelburne explained.

Shelburne’s explanation mostly centers around preferring the story of what James has done over the story of what Antetokounmpo has done.

That’s tough for many to accept when Antetokounmpo is ascending and averaging a career-high 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 1.4 three-pointers made per game. He’s also averaging 5.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game for Milwaukee, which maintains the best record in the NBA.

James is leading the league with 10.3 assists per game but trails Giannis in every other statistical category, including team record. One could also argue that Anthony Davis’ arrival is more responsible for the Lakers’ turnaround than anything else. Comparatively, the Bucks lost Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic and still have posted an even better winning percentage this season.

An unofficial tracker seems to show Antetokounmpo will win the MVP award for the second year in a row, with James finishing a distant second. Shelburne would be one of a few voters to rank James ahead of the Bucks star this year. Giannis is probably more focused on something else anyway.

Dwyane Wade trolls LeBron James over bubble outfit

LeBron James

Dwyane Wade could not help but respond to LeBron James’ supposed “Miami Drip.”

The Los Angeles Lakers star James showed up before Monday’s bubble game against the Denver Nuggets in an interesting open-chested fit.

Wade, James’ former Miami Heat teammate and good friend, was guesting on Monday’s NBA pregame show on TNT and poked fun at James’ outfit by showing up to the studio wearing one of his own. The retired star even put on some baby oil to suggest that James had done the same.

Both Wade and James, who won two championships in their four seasons together in Miami, have definitely made some unique fashion statements over their many years in the spotlight. Now we will have to wait and see if another of their old teammates decides to get in on the fun too.

LeBron James hints at some issues off the court

LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost two games in a row since clinching the top seed in the Western Conference, and now LeBron James is hinting at some possible issues off the floor.

The Lakers lost on Wednesday 105-86 to the Oklahoma City Thunder even though both James and Anthony Davis played in the game. On Thursday, they lost 113-97 to the Houston Rockets. James and JaVale McGee did not play in the game.

James spoke with reporters and talked about the Lakers looking for a rhythm on offense. Then he said something that caught the ear of The Athletic’s Joe Vardon.

“It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor,” James said, via Vardon.

James declined to elaborate on what the issue might have been. The point seems to be that things are not going exactly the way James would like.

James and Kyle Kuzma were celebrating after clinching the top spot on Monday. Now that they accomplished the goal, they seem to be less focused on winning the rest of their games prior to the start of the playoffs.

LeBron James responds to Donald Trump saying he won’t watch NBA

LeBron James

LeBron James responded on Wednesday to President Donald Trump’s claim that he won’t watch the NBA due to players kneeling for the national anthem.

James’ Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-86. After the game, James was asked about Trump’s comments about the NBA. James said he didn’t think the basketball community would be sad to lose Trump’s viewership.

“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership,” James said.

Earlier in the day, Trump appeared on “Fox and Friends” for a phone interview and shared his thoughts.

“When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and national anthem, what I do personally is turn off the game,” Trump said.

“I think it’s disgraceful. We work with (the NBA), we worked with them very hard trying to get open. I was pushing for them to get open. Then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. That’s not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling during the game, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. Let me tell you this, plenty of other people out there, too.”

Trump also credited himself for helping the black community with “criminal justice reform, opportunity zones, best employment numbers in history.”

James and Trump have clashed for years, going back to when LeBron supported Hillary Clinton during the last presidential election. The two have sparred many times since then, with James taking shots at Trump and vice versa. The saga between them continues.

Reds take LeBron James-themed shot at Indians on Twitter

This week’s series between Major League Baseball’s two Ohio teams is getting a little personal.

Ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Indians in Cleveland, the Cincinnati Reds tweeted some action shots of their players on the field and got in a shot at the city of Cleveland, saying it was so nice that LeBron James left it twice.

The Indians then hit back by pointing out that Cincinnati didn’t even have an NBA team. The Reds replied that their NBA team had never lost a game.

James, who indeed left Cleveland for the second time in 2018 to join the Los Angeles Lakers, was actually a pretty big fan of the Indians. It is probably a lot harder to support them now that he is thousands of miles away though.

Still, The King brought Cleveland to five total NBA Finals appearances and won the city their first professional sports championship in 52 years with the Cavaliers’ 2016 title. Thus, the Indians probably aren’t sweating the Reds’ Twitter fingers too much.

LeBron James wishes Sabrina Ionescu well after injury

The new face of the WNBA is getting some well wishes from the current face of the NBA.

New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s WNBA Draft, went down with a scary-looking ankle injury during Friday’s game against the Atlanta Dream. She had to be helped off the court and did not return to the game.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that X-rays on Ionescu’s ankle were negative and showed no fracture.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted his good wishes to Ionescu.

The 22-year-old Ionescu was selected by the Liberty after a standout four-year career at the University of Oregon. She entered play Friday averaging 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game in her first two contests.

Ionescu was close with the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, and now she is getting some love from another basketball giant as well.

LeBron James compares Anthony Davis to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with new look

Anthony Davis is going with some new goggles to protect his injured eye, even if he is far from the first Los Angeles Lakers big man to sport the look.

The seven-time All-Star Davis was photographed at practice on Wednesday rocking the specks. He had missed a session earlier this week after being poked in the eye during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Fellow Lakers star LeBron James left a comment on Instagram comparing Davis to the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who rocked the goggles for the better part of his 20-year NBA career.

Davis now appears to be on track to suit up for Thursday’s official bubble opener against the rival LA Clippers. As for the goggles look, it definitely seems to be in style once again.

LeBron James dissed Michael Carter-Williams during scrimmage

LeBron James

Without fans in attendance at the NBA’s Orlando bubble, we are now privy to in-game conversations that we might not otherwise hear.

At Saturday’s scrimmage between his Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic, LeBron James could be heard dissing Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams in clear earshot of everyone, including Carter-Williams himself.

“He’s all drive, no shoot. No. 7 is all drive,” said James in reference to Carter-Williams’ jersey number, per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

Indeed, Carter-Williams is a 29.4 percent three-point shooter this season and just 25.6 percent for his career. Thus, James was likely encouraging his teammates to sag off Carter-Williams and/or to go under screens on him.

While James’ criticism might sting, Carter-Williams’ lack of consistent shooting ability is well-known and not even just on the basketball court.

LeBron James seems to forget that he missed the playoffs last year

LeBron James

LeBron James may be forgetting something about how his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers went.

James quote-tweeted a tweet on Monday that repeated a critical statement about the Lakers star’s career. Some critics have said that James had so much success for most of his NBA career because he played in the Eastern Conference, which has been weaker than the West.

One of James’ friends mocked that line of thinking by throwing up that quote on Twitter.

James responded by saying he heard that criticism for 15 years.

Now that he has Anthony Davis on his team, he and his Lakers are leading the West. However, the playoffs haven’t begun yet, and the competition in the conference will be tough. The other thing is James is acting like last year didn’t happen.

His Lakers went 37-45 and missed the playoffs, marking the first time since 2005 that James missed the postseason. Yes, the team had injuries and James shut it down early, but that’s the point: the West was so tough last year that you had to be 14 games over .500 to make the playoffs, whereas in the East, the Pistons made the playoffs with a .500 record. Had James been in the East, he probably would have made the playoffs again.

Ultimately, both statements can be true: James is a great player who would have won in either conference and the East was significantly weaker than the West for most of James’ career, which eased his path to success.