LeBron James is only three wins away from his fourth NBA championship.
And at nearly 36-years-old, he’s far too successful and experienced with media manipulation to entertain nonsense. This is a valuable lesson that Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, a professional hypocrite, learned when he came for King James in Septemeber and got his ass embarrassed.
It’s also a lesson that LeBron’s former teammate, Kyrie Irving, is learning after he seemingly threw shade at King James earlier this week. As we previously reported at The Root, Kyrie was asked who he’d trust to shoot with 10 seconds left on the clock. He
bold-faced lied responded with the following praise for new teammate Kevin Durant: “This is the first time in my career I can look down and be like that motherfucker can make that shot, too.”
The entire free world is acutely aware that Kyrie is full of shit. But LeBron, whose mutant power is media savvy, predictably didn’t take the bait. Instead, while speaking to the media on Thursday after Kyrie had gone viral for all the wrong reasons, the four-time NBA MVP explained exactly how the Lakers are busting the entire league’s ass without breaking a sweat—and may have included a subtle rebuttal to Kyrie’s assertions.
“We’re not jealous of each other. I think that’s the best thing,” LeBron explained. “In professional sports, you have guys that join forces—you can call them alpha males. That’s what they call them. Two guys that have been dominant in a specific sport on their own respective teams, and they get together and they talk about how dominant they can be and they talk about this is going to be this and that. I believe jealousy creeps in a lot. And that is the absolute contrary of what we are.
“We know who we are. We know what we’re about. We want the best, seriously, every single day, both on and off the floor, for one another. We’re just not jealous of one another. I think that you align that with respect, I think the sky’s the limit.”
You hear that, Kyrie?
Now, whether or not Kyrie was ever jealous of LeBron is up to the Duke product to divulge himself. But Kyrie did admit in 2019 that he finally called LeBron to apologize for being immature as hell during their three seasons together.
“I had to call ‘Bron, and tell him I apologize for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips,” Irving said at the time. “I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that.”
Take from that what you will.
For his part, Kyrie took to Twitter on Thursday to downplay any perceived slights at LeBron or any other current or former teammates.
“Come on, y’all, don’t listen to the false narratives,” he said. “Let people live their lives. It’s just a game. Talk about the art, talk about the sport, you talk openly, you talk freely. But, because we live in a clickbait society, it becomes something bigger. You don’t have to defend it, that’s just what media is. It’s entertainment. I’m not gonna let it put me against anybody anymore at any point, because that’s not what it is about.”
Considering Kyrie can’t even wash dishes without missing 3-to-6 weeks with an elbow strain, let’s hope they have the opportunity to settle this on the court next season.