The comments made on social media by Clint Parks ripped James for an apparent lack of work ethic after the Lakers’ Christmas Day loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and Kawhi Leonard.
“Watching Kawhi highlights from yesterday. NOBODY wants to speak on how sharp his skill set is compared to Lebrons. It’s clear who’s really in the LAB and who isn’t. Let me hear the excuses I’m on vacation I got nothing but time,” Parks wrote. “Turn the film on. Somebody was dodging SMOKE yesterday and it wasn’t Kawhi.”
Kuzma then fired off an ill-timed tweet that read “call a spade a spade,” and many associated it with Parks’ comments. Kuzma deleted the tweet, stirring up more drama, which he addressed on Saturday.
“No correlation. I didn’t even see what he said at first,” Kuzma said, via Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. “Obviously you guys see, I tweet things all the time. So definitely not about that. Why would I even do that? Makes no sense.”
He said he spoke to James about the comments and that they have a “great relationship,” per Ganguli.
“I just told [LeBron] that I can’t control what another man says,” Kuzma said. “Obviously I don’t feel that way. Everybody knows that me and LeBron have a great relationship and left it at that. can’t control another man’s mouth and what they say so we left it at that.”
Parks has trained Kuzma since his days at Utah, but he also has relationships with other players in the league. An article by UteZone on 247Sports profiling Kuzma’s relationship with Parks says he started an AAU team that had some “pretty good players come through,” which included Leonard.
Parks responded to some of the backlash on Twitter saying “it’s just basketball.”
James has looked sharp in his 17th NBA season, despite some recent injury concerns. He’s missed just one game and is averaging 34.9 minutes, 25.7 points, 10.6 assists and 7.6 rebounds.
Kuzma has had to sacrifice some of his stats this season while coming off the bench. He’s down nearly 10 minutes per game from a year ago and is averaging 11.9 points and 3.5 rebounds.
LeBron James Responds to Trainer’s Criticism
LeBron also responded to the viral criticism, but it’s nothing new for James, who has grown accustomed to the spotlight.
“Kuz came to me yesterday after practice and told me what was going on and that was it. I don’t really care for somebody’s trainer or whatever the case may be. Everyone can have their own opinion,” James said. “Any time someone wants to get some notoriety they can throw my name in and people are gonna pick it up. that’s why you’re asking me about it. Because my name was in it. I’ve never met the guy, I don’t know the guy, I could care less for the guy. Whatever the case may be, I wish him the best.”
LeBron James Questionable Against Blazers
The Lakers are looking to end a four-game skid against the Portland Trail Blazers on the road Saturday night in the front-end of a back-to-back.
James is questionable with a groin contusion that he suffered in the loss to the Clippers. He’s missed just one game this season.
“We’ll see how he’s feeling,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters, per The Orange County Register. “If he wakes up and goes into the gym tomorrow and feels 100 percent and there’s no pain, and he wants to play, we’re gonna play him. But certainly, if he’s limited or at risk, then we’re gonna be intelligent.”
The Lakers are a five-point road favorite for the game.