Howard, who is playing professional basketball in Taiwan, tweeted a five-second clip from the 2010 McDonald’s TV ad he was in with James. The video’s caption reads: “When the [crown emoji, a reference to ‘King James’] ask if I could come help against the [joker card emoji, a reference to Nuggets star Nikola Jokic].” In the clip is a voiceover saying, “Hell no.”
In the tweet’s body, Howard wrote, “King we can remake this commercial here in Taiwan though.” There was also a crying laughing emoji at the end.
Howard, who played for the Lakers in three different one-season stints, has been calling out players who’ve struggled in the 2023 playoffs. Despite finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists in Game 2, James was only 9-of-19 from the field. LeBron shot 0-of-6 from 3-point land and also botched a dunk in transition.
“Obviously, that sucks that the ball squirted out of my hand like that, whatever the case may be. Maybe hit my knee or whatever,” James said after Game 2. “But unforced turnover by myself. Horrible. Especially on the road.”
The Lakers could have won Games 1 and 2 in Denver. However, they lost both and are now down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
LeBron James on Going Back Home for Games 3 & 4
Games 3 and 4 of the series will be at Crypto.com Arena, where the Lakers are undefeated in the playoffs. However, James told reporters that he and his teammates can’t get comfortable just because they are playing at home.
“We still got to play with the same desperation as we did tonight,” James said. “We came out with an L, but doesn’t give us any more comfort. We can’t go into any postseason game with comfort just because you either haven’t lost at home or you’re going back home. I think it’s even more you got to be on edge because when you go home, you get in your own bed, get around your family, everybody’s being cool and jolly and everything. Nah, you got to be even more on edge when you go home.
“So we got to understand that going back and being down 0-2. There’s no reason for us to get comfortable.”
James is averaging 23.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists in the 2023 postseason while shooting 49.4% overall, 23.3% from deep and 76.9% from the free-throw line. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer sprained his left ankle in Game 2, but James plans on playing in Game 3.
“I think I stepped on somebody’s foot,” James said. “I think it was maybe Aaron Gordon or one of the guys underneath the basket. But it will be fine.”
LeBron James: ‘It’s the First Team to Four Wins’
James and the Lakers have to win Game 3 because no team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 series deficit in the playoffs.
“What you take out of it is the fact that this is not the NCAA tournament,” James said. “It’s the first team to four wins. We have an opportunity to go home and play great basketball and hold serve. So until a team beats you four times, then you always have an opportunity to come out of it. So that’s the confidence that we should have. I know it’s going to be a tough hill to climb up, but we still have an opportunity to play good basketball and play the best basketball of the series in Game 3.
“Like I said, if we can get better from Game 2 like we did tonight to Game 3, then we put ourselves in a position to do that.”