LeBron James has never been one to shy away from the prying eyes of the public. Whether it's his regular chats with the media, his frequent posts on social media, or his willingness to speak about politics, James has become a star that transcends the game of basketball.
But on the court, LeBron is just as chatty and thanks to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, we finally understand just how chatty the guy can be in a game and, I must say, it's some pretty interesting stuff.
During the first quarter, with the ball out of bounds, LeBron, who was on the court, noticed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope walking along the sideline, from the locker room back to the bench. “What’s wrong with your shitty ass?” LeBron asked, and then called KCP something that I simply will not print.
He also had some words to spare at the foul line...
Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic was midshot on a free throw and LeBron yelled, “Ahhhhhh shit.” On a D.J. Augustin free throw, “That’s shorty, that’s shorty.”
I loved this one. With 10:45 left in the second quarter, the Magic were already in the bonus. So Vogel yells to his team, “Hey, Gold, they are already in the bonus one. Stop fouling. We’re one minute into the quarter.”
Eight minutes and four more fouls later, LeBron goes, “Damn, we gotta stop fouling.”
It seems not even LeBron is a stranger to trash talk, even against his own teammates.
Either way, it's pretty cool that we got to "listen in" on what was happening and was being said between James and his teammates. LeBron's leadership has been revered, and there's a reason for that.
The way he talks and acts sets a tone that team follows and sets a culture that can directly impact how they do over the course of the season. It seems trash talk is a normal part of that leadership process for James, as has been the case for nearly every superstar before him.