LeBron James usually isn’t one to partake in trash talk, so when the Los Angeles Lakers superstar appeared rattled by something Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris told him on the court, it made headlines.
During the Lakers 120-116 victory against the Nuggets, Morris hit a 3-pointer in James’s face, saying something as he backpedaled away. James looked at the former second-round pick out of Iowa State and jawed back before eventually walking towards him.
Morris faced a bit of backlash online for the moment, responding on Twitter citing the respect he has for James — one of the best the game has ever seen.
“It’s always a dream come true to compete against a future HOF you’ve always idolized coming up. Much respect to Bron and what he’s done for the game of basketball. Last night wasn’t as major as everyone is making it seem, it was just two individuals from the mud competing for a W.”
James finished with a massive triple-double that included 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds. Morris had 12 points and 4 assists.
The Nuggets are 38-17 and currently playing chase in the Western Conference standings to the Lakers, who hold onto the top spot at the All-Star break with a 41-12 mark.
Lakers Not Worried About Playoff Seeding
Despite hanging on to the top spot in the West, it’s not at the top of the list of concerns for the Lakers, at least according to James.
“We don’t talk about it,” James told reporters after beating the Nuggets. “For us, we would love to play in front of our home fans as much as we can. We love being there with our Laker faithful … But at the end of the day, you go out and play each and every game like it’s its own game. You can’t worry about what could happen the following day. You can only look at the present, like we did tonight.”
James has enough playoff experience to know where to focus his energy. Before missing the playoffs last year during an injury-plagued campaign, he had made it to the postseason 13 years in a row.
“We are where we need to be,” he said. “We’ll come back off the break and get ready for the final stretch of the regular season. You don’t put too much into it. You understand you played some good basketball along the way, played some not good basketball. But you want to continue to get better and continue to trust the process. We look forward to when we get back, getting back on the floor and see how far we’ll continue to grow.”
LeBron James Already Missing His Lakers Teammates
The Lakers did not make a move at the trade deadline, which in part was because of the chemistry the team has built. It’s fairly obvious from what is said in the media and on social media that there’s a strong sense of veteran leadership guiding the team — although winning very much helps in that equation as well.
After the Lakers victory before the All-Star break, James gave a shoutout to his teammates, saying: “Helluva win last night fellas!! Perfect way to go into the break on a high note! Miss you boys already!”
James and fellow star Anthony Davis are All-Star starters this weekend, while Dwight Howard is participating in the dunk contest.