LeBron James Throws Shade at NBA Title Contender

Steph Curry Rumors

Getty LeBron James appears to be making his best recruiting pitch to Steph Curry.

It would not be an NBA All-Star draft if someone did not get a little shade thrown at them and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James did his part. James and Kevin Durant are this year’s captains responsible for selecting their all-star rosters, a familiar role for Lakers icon. TNT’s Inside the NBA crew was quick to point out that the last two players picked happened to play for the Jazz: Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

“I’m not going for this Utah Jazz slander, right now,” Charles Barkley noted. “Come on, man. This is slander. They got the best record in the NBA [and] their two best players are the last two standing. This is slander. This is slander, America.”

James started to take the high road in response to Barkley’s criticism but managed to get a dig in at Jazz.

“I just want to say something, there’s no slander,” James responded to Barkley’s assessment. “There’s no slander to the Utah Jazz, but you guys got to understand. You guys got to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. Even as great as Karl Malone and John Stockton was we would never pick those guys in video games. Never.”

James’ comments are sure to make the rounds in Salt Lake City providing a little extra motivation for Mitchell and Gobert. James will have to play nice as Gobert ended up on Team LeBron. The Jazz headed into the All-Star break with the best record in the NBA at 27-9, while the Lakers are currently 3.5 games behind Utah. If the playoffs started today, the Lakers would be the No. 4 seed.

Here is a look at James making the case for why Jazz players have been historically unpopular.

ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Lakers!

LeBron on the Jazz: ‘They’re Playing Some Really Good Ball’

It is hard to read too much into James’ comments but the slight jab may be an indication that the Jazz have the Lakers’ attention. The Jazz handily defeated a short-handed Lakers team 114-89 on February 24th. After the game, James praised the Jazz citing point guard Mike Conley as the catalyst for the team’s play this season.

“I think they came back with the same roster, but I think what I’ve noticed more than anything is those guys, they’re fully healthy,” James noted. “I think Mike Conley is back to himself, fully healthy, moving, you can see the way he’s moving out there on the floor, and it’s trickled down to everybody else. So, they’re playing some really good ball. It’s a really good team.”

Morris After the Lakers’ Loss to the Jazz: ‘They Beat Out A– Tonight, but in the Playoffs It’s a Different Story’

While the Lakers have been complimentary towards the Jazz, there also appears to be confidence within the team that things will be different in the postseason. After Utah’s win over Los Angeles, Markieff Morris emphasized things will change in the playoffs.

“We see the Jazz, we know they beat our a– tonight,” Morris explained, per ESPN. “But in the playoffs it’s a different story.”

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel believes the Jazz are playing like the best team in the NBA. It is something that their record reflects.

“Nobody’s playing as well as Utah Jazz in the NBA right now,” Vogel said, per Orange County Register. “The way they shoot the ball, the way they’re connected defensively, the continuity bump that they’re having by having the same team come back.”

READ NEXT: LeBron James Puts NBA on Notice: ‘I Don’t Believe in It’

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments