LeBron James may be one of the best ever to lace up a pair of Chinese-made sneakers, but his flop game still has some work to do.
After boldly claiming the Los Angeles Lakers do not flop, James followed up his assertion by….flopping like a fish during game 2 of their series with the Denver Nuggets.
It wasn’t just a flop; James actually got the foul call on Nikola Jokić, but Joker and the Nuggets got the last laugh as they took a 2-0 lead in a series about to head back to Los Angeles. Now, the Lakers are in desperation mode, and with the best player in the game, Jokić, balling out for the opposition, the Lakers may be looking at another disappointment as James’ career winds down to an end.
The flop was so obvious and egregious that social media did what it does so well; it called James out on his theatrics. According to the New York Post:
San Antonio rookie Jeremy Sochan mocked LeBron James after the Lakers star took a dubious fall in Los Angeles’ 108-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night.
“Why does ‘King’ James flop so much?” Sochan tweeted.
It wasn’t just the brash young rookie from San Antonio weighing in, either. Other Twitter users and media heavyweight Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports said: “This man is a disgrace! I’m disgusted.”
Other users said:
“Add this to the flop mix tape,” one fan tweeted.
“LeBron legit flew 20 feet on contact he created. He owes that fan a drink,” another added.
Indeed, James owes the fans more than a spilled drink. He owes the fans a night-in, night-out effort that doesn’t include wildly flailing his arms and acting like he is about to die because of some minor, incidental contact.
LeBron said Lakers don’t flop lmaoooo pic.twitter.com/2ZBtxFfJ0U
— Tedd Buddwell 🏀🏈 (@TedBuddy8) May 19, 2023
The fact that James is more known for his antics than his actual prowess on the court at this point of his career only cements his status as the third-best NBA star ever, if that. Could anyone imagine Kobe or Michael Jordan rag-dolling to the court to draw a cheap foul at this point of their career? Nope. MJ had perhaps the greatest game of his career in the NBA finals with a fever over 100 and a raging case of the flu.
Every time James lets gravity get the best of him and grimaces as if he was just shot with a pellet gun, he cheapens his legacy, plain and simple. Maybe that doesn’t matter to him, but time will show that the fans and history took notice.
Later in the game, James made another mistake that a player of his alleged caliber shouldn’t make. In a tightly contested game that former University of Kentucky star Jamal Murray eventually took over, James had a breakaway dunk opportunity squirt out of his hands for a turnover, as if he was a D-League rookie.
“Obviously that sucks that the ball squirted out of my hand like that, whatever the case may be,” James said. “Maybe hit my knee or whatever, but unforced turnover by myself. Horrible. Especially on the road.”
As up-and-coming stars like Murray make their mark by getting hot down the stretch and burying clutch three-pointers, LeBron James continues to sully his legacy with flopping and mental mistakes. It is a sad state for a league in decline. There are no more compelling personalities and precious few household names, and LeBron James becoming a punchline isn’t helping.
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