Kyrie Irving takes another jab at LeBron James.
During the Nets’ 109-98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Irving seized the moment and decided to throw a little shade at former teammate LeBron James. James stepped to the free-throw line late in the first quarter, on a technical foul shot, where Irving was audibly heard and seen pointing at James while saying, “That’s your best free-throw shooter?”
To answer Irving’s question, no. James is not the Lakers’ best free-throw shooter, but that is not the point.
Sure, he [Irving] was just poking a little fun at “King James” and James did not seem to have much of a problem with this. Basketball is a game known for trash talk at all levels of the game. So, Irving going there is not shocking, though it may not have been the wisest thing to do.
The Nets have been rolling right along despite their horrible defense. Their incredible offensive production has made this experimental transition smooth. And even without Kevin Durant, who missed the game against the Lakers.
Whatever happened behind the scenes between Irving and James while both guys played for the Cleveland Cavaliers still seems to linger a bit, at least on the part of Kyrie. For the second time in the past four months, Irving went out of his way to jab James.
In October, while appearing on Durant’s podcast, Irving complimented Durant while also managing to lay the verbal smackdown on James all within the same statement.
“One thing I’ve always been comfortable with is, I’ve felt like I was the best option on every team I’ve played for down the stretch. This is the first time in my career where I can be like “that (expletive) can make that shot, too.”
Say what you want, and many have tried to defend Irving’s comments since he did not mention James by name, but when you hear that comment, any NBA follower knows that was a shot at James. Whether it was purposely said for this effect or not.
While the Nets did have their way with the Lakers, Irving may want to be careful not to get too ahead of himself. Both Durant and the Lakers’ Anthony Davis missed this game. After the game, Kyrie did acknowledge that the real battle between these teams will be down the road when both are at full strength.
Rest-assured that James will not forget the shade cast his way by Irving during that technical foul free-throw attempt. These verbal spats will only add to the storylines between these two teams, especially if they end up meeting in the NBA Finals like many analysts, fans, and experts are already predicting.