The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James took to Instagram on Thursday, one day after he was criticized by Utah Jazz announcers for celebrating teammate Kyle Kuzma from the side of the court while not wearing his shoes.
Late in the Lakers’ dominating victory over the Jazz on Wednesday night, James jumped toward the edge of the court after Kuzma blocked a shot by Jazz center Tony Bradley. When Kuzma blocked Bradley a second time in the sequence, James danced even further away from the baseline while waving a towel.
With the ball heading back downcourt, Jazz color-commentator Matt Harpring said, “Look at LeBron, he’s on the court.” Said play-by-play man Craig Bolerjack: “With no shoes mind you. That’s some disrespect right there. Please.”
James, who had given away his shoes to two kids in the crowd, gave his side of the story through his Instagram account.
“Imagine doing your job at the highest level to where you’re not needed anymore, giving your shoes to a lil girl and boy who you inspire and hoped you made proud that night, then cheering on your teammates cause you love seeing them succeed more than yourself only to be criticized while doing it,” James wrote.
James tried to turn the situation into a positive.
“People it’s the world we live in and you can’t let it ever stop you from your purpose in life,” James continued in his post. “Negativity, bad energy, hate, envy, etc etc will try to bring you down throughout your journey and it’s up to you on how you handle it. I handle it by simply saying “Thank You” with a (smile) on my face and continue to push forward while doing it! LIVE.LAUGH.LOVE”
The Lakers earned a 121-96 victory, just the Jazz’s second loss at home this season. James had 20 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Los Angeles won the game one day after earning a 105-96 victory at Denver.
—Field Level Media