LeBron James

USA Today

Freaking Laker Fan

LeBron doesn’t have to earn Laker fans respect.

September 26, 2018 - 9:32 am

LeBron James as a Laker has reached a new level this week, with Media Day and the start of training camp. The team had its first practice yesterday, LeBron and Rajon Rondo were jawing with each other, hitting threes, and talking trash. The MUD crew – Misunderstood, Underappreciated, and Determined – group of Rondo, Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee, and Lance Stephenson has its nickname. Everything is going well. 

And why wouldn’t it? LeBron isn’t new to basketball. He might be new to LA, but he’s not new to being new to a team. He has seen it all and heard it all. At least, he thought he had and I thought he had, until yesterday. When he met with the media, he got just about the biggest curveball of his life.

“Who me? ME?!? HUH?”

Such a great response. What?!? Me? Moi?!? This guy?!? 

The only thing missing was LeBron doing a big, exaggerated point at himself and then looking around for someone else. 

“I signed a four-year deal. How much more — what do you want me to do? Listen, I signed a four-year deal. I’m here. I know what I bring to the table and the floor.”

I haven’t seen someone that baffled by a question since Will Muschamp was asked about Star Wars.

Look, I’m not here to crack on the reporter. It might not have the greatest question ever and might not have come out the way the reporter intended it, but she kept firing. Shoot your shot. You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take and she wasn’t going to miss.

Being a reporter can be hard. Bashing a reporter for questions that don't quite work is really easy. And I'm not going to take the easy path. 

Shoot that might not have been the most awkward exchange between a reporters an athlete this week. Check out Justin Thomas fielding this question.

In a word….OCKWOOD! That was a shank off the first tee and straight into the woods. Man that fell flat. And was confusing. But it’ll happen. It’ll happen to us all. You know that going in. 

Just like I know, it’s kind of ridiculous to ask a 3-time NBA champion, 4-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, a man who’s been to 8 straight finals and is arguably the greatest player in NBA history, how he’s going to earn respect with his new team. I mean, that sounds completely insane. But have you met some Laker fans?

Sorry, have you met some people in Southern California with Laker jerseys? They’re definitely approaching it that way. For them, it’s not just enough that LeBron is the greatest player in the league and has been for a while. And it’s not enough that he’s signed a four-year deal and is talking about this as a long process, not an overnight smash and grab. 

Nor is it enough that he’s the first big name free agent to come to Los Angeles in a long, long time. And it’s not enough that he’s doing it at a time where the team, while it’s improving, still has a long way to go. He still has to earn their respect, according to them. Like, yeah, I know about the three titles and the 8 straight Finals appearances, and I’m the best ever… I know all that. But you need to know this. You still need to earn MY respect.  Because I don’t care what you did in Cleveland or Miami or Cleveland again.  You haven’t done jack here in L.A., and until you do, you’re just a guy. And an old one at that. With a ton of freaking miles on. Essentially, what’s Laker reporter and Laker fan are saying. Incredible.   

Then again, this is the same crowd that was vandalizing LeBron murals to the point that they had to be taken down.

The Lakers haven’t been to the playoffs in five years and instead of being hyped that the GOAT wanted to come play for their team, these clowns really do think LeBron owes them something already. They don’t see LeBron coming to the Lakers as an endorsement of the Lakers. In fact, just the opposite. They believe that LeBron needs THEIR endorsement before he can come to the Lakers. And even then, he can wear the jersey, but he isn’t a true Laker. And they’re idiots. 

LeBron doesn’t have to earn their respect, but some of these dumbasses actually think he does. You’re not doing him a favor, he’s doing you one. Because for first time in years, someone who actually matters wants to ball in your building, in your gear. So instead of insulting this guy, you should be thanking him.