LeBron James’ talent on the basketball court is undeniable. However, that skill is sometimes overshadowed by his stunts both on and off the court.
In a YouTube video released last week, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar discussed what he called “a double-whammy” for James in recent weeks.
First, Abdul-Jabbar discussed James’ hit to the face of Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart. James was ejected and later suspended for the incident, which ESPN reporter Taylor Twellman called “the ultimate cheap shot.”
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) November 22, 2021
A few days later, James grabbed his groin after hitting a jump shot against the Indiana Pacers. Abdul-Jabbar called the gesture “a big balls dance.”
WARNING: The following clip contains a graphic gesture which some viewers will find offensive.
The NBA has fined LeBron James $15,000 for making an “obscene gesture” during the Lakers’ win over Indiana pic.twitter.com/7Wqts1RklV
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 27, 2021
As a result, the NBA fined James $15,000, the league said in a statement.
“Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has been fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture on the playing court and warned for using profane language during media availability in response to league imposed discipline, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations,” the statement read.
“The incident occurred with 1:17 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 124-116 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 24 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.”
Abdul-Jabbar said the league has been fining players over this gesture for at least a decade, and James should have known better.
“For me, winning is enough,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Why do you need to do a stupid, childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? It doesn’t make sense.”
Abdul-Jabbar then played a video clip of goats over his own voice saying, “Goats don’t dance.” This was an apparent nod to the debate about whether James is the greatest NBA player of all time.
Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points make him the all-time leading scorer in the NBA, according to the league’s website. LeBron James’ 35,674 career points are good for third all-time.
In addition to discussing James, Abdul-Jabbar gave his thoughts on Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom becoming a United States citizen and changing his last name to “Freedom.”
“I can’t help but admire Enes’ unapologetic bravery and commitment to the very freedom he celebrates with his name change,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
“China is a big source of money for the NBA, so to criticize their cruelty and inhumanity is a bold step. He is just the kind of courageous American citizen we need.”
Freedom himself has criticized James for his ties to Nike, a company that has been accused of profiting from slave labor in China.
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