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#pounditFriday, February 26, 2021

Articles tagged: LeBron James

Report: LeBron James ‘turned off’ younger players, owners during meetings

LeBron James

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

Report: LeBron James stayed silent in meeting about resuming season

LeBron James

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 says report about LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard is false

Damian Lillard

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.

Report: LeBron James’ Lakers, Clippers vote to end NBA season

LeBron James

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.

Standout performers of the NBA playoffs so far

Luka Doncic

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.

Halle-Luka

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.

(more…)

Anthony Davis takes funny jab at LeBron James

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis took a funny jab at his teammate LeBron James on Thursday night.

Davis and James were feeling pretty good after their Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-88 in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. Davis paid some respect to James, talking about what an influence the veteran has been.

Davis decided to get cheeky about James’ age and joked about the 25 years James has been playing the NBA. James heard the joke and responded to Davis with the F-word.

The two were obviously just joking around with each other. Fans will appreciate that they felt comfortable doing so after being all-business before that.

Davis had 31 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lakers in their victory. There’s a reason we said the road to the NBA Finals goes through him.

LeBron James thinks 2020 playoffs will be his toughest challenge ever

LeBron James

LeBron James has seen just about everything during his basketball career, so his comments about the challenge that the 2020 NBA playoffs pose are quite telling.

Citing the pause in the season and the fact that the playoffs will take place in a bubble environment, James said he anticipates this playoff run being the most difficult of his career.

It’s not just the circumstances, either. James and the Los Angeles Lakers will have to maneuver through a loaded Western Conference that features five other teams with winning percentages over .600. Even the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers’ first round opponents, boast a superstar in Damian Lillard who can steal any game.

Remember, James has not been particularly excited about playing in the bubble. The circumstances are definitely strange, and the competition is difficult. Whoever wins the NBA title will have earned it.

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.