Despite not having to play deep into the matchup against Jazz due to the blowout, James was on the court in the fourth quarter. He wandered onto the hardwood with no shoes while watching one of the Lakers defensive possessions. LeBron was in socks because he gave his shoes away to a kid in the stands after hitting the bench.
“Look at LeBron, he’s on the court,” the Jazz announcers said. “With no shoes… that’s some disrespect right there.”
James took to Instagram to respond to the harsh words, reposting the clip.
“Imagine doing your job at the highest level to where you’re not needed anymore, giving your shoes to a lil girl and boy who you inspire and hoped you made proud that night, then cheering on your teammates cause you love seeing them succeed more than yourself only to be criticized while doing it. People it’s the world we live in and you can’t let it ever stop you from your purpose in life. Negativity, bad energy, hate, envy, etc etc will try to bring you down throughout your journey and it’s up to you on how you handle it. I handle it by simply saying ‘Thank You’ with a ? on my face and continue to push forward while doing it! LIVE.LAUGH.LOVE”
Dwyane Wade Shares Hilarious Reaction to No-Call on LeBron Travel Against Jazz
James found himself as part of more criticism after the game thanks to a no-call on an obvious travel against the Jazz.
While coming up the court, James picked up his dribble, took 3-and-a-half steps and dribbled again before passing the ball. Bojan Bogdanovic was left stunned, waving his hands.
James called it a “malfunction” and showed some remorse after the game, even overreacting a bit.
“It was the worst thing, probably one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my career,” James told reporters from the locker room. “I was watching the underneath play, and KCP and Donovan got into it. KCP started to run, and Donovan bumped into him, he fell on the ground. I think I was ready to pass the ball, and my brain just kind of just, I had a malfunction. I really had a malfunction.”
LeBron’s good friend Dwyane Wade took the situation a little less serious with a a hilarious response.
“Why he ref act like he didn’t see it tho,” Wade said with a bunch of crying laughing emojis.
Lakers Continue Tough Road Trip Against Trail Blazers
Maybe lost in the shuffle a bit was the Lakers comfortably moving to 19-3 this season, which ties them with the Bucks for the best record in the NBA.
Much of the criticism of the Lakers strong star was the classic “they haven’t played anyone” argument. But in back to back games they’ve knocked off two Western Conference contenders in the Nuggets and Jazz, with the Portland Trail Blazers on deck next.
Veteran Jared Dudley took to Twitter to call out those who were nitpicking.
“Have we still not played anybody good yet?????” he wrote.
The Lakers have a day off before playing Portland, who have won four out of their last five.
More test come down the road as the Lakers face the Bucks, Nuggets and Clippers in a Christmas Day prime-time affair at the end of the month. In the meantime, the Lakers are trying not to listen to any of the outside noise and are living by the motto of Ravens QB and NFL MVP frontrunner Lamar Jackson.
“That’s kind of the motto we talked about after our loss,” Lakers guard Alex Caruso told Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times . “Nobody cares if we lose. If we lose, people get excited, people get up for that. We’ve gotten to that point after such a good start. For us it’s not worrying about that. We gotta go out there and do our job regardless. Sick, not sick. It’s going to be harder on certain nights. Obviously, first night of a back-to-back tough road trip, but that’s just kind of the character that we have as a team.”