Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has taken to Instagram to slam commentators who said his behaviour during their win over the Utah Jazz was ‘disrespectful’.
The Lakers trounced the Jazz on Thursday AEST, claiming a convincing 121-96 win over Joe Ingles’ struggling squad.
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With the game well in hand and the Lakers’ starters resting on the bench, James took the opportunity to gift his shoes to two young fans.
Unfortunately, the Utah commentary team didn’t pick up on the gesture. What they did pick up on was James’ courtside celebrations in the dying minutes, still in his socks on the sidelines.
“Look at LeBron, he’s on the court. What the heck is going on here?” one of the commentary team said.
Another chimed in to say James was taking the mickey.
“With no shoes, mind you. That’s some disrespect right there. Please.”
The home commentary crew’s take on James’ antics didn’t go far with fans on social media, with many pointing out the Jazz wouldn’t have been in that position if they weren’t down by more than 20 points.
Crucially though, it was James himself who got the last word.
The three-time NBA champion took to Instagram to effectively dismiss the criticism, reminding his followers not to get bogged down in petty squabbles.
“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 criticised while doing it,” James wrote.
“People it’s the world we live in and you can’t let it ever stop you from your purpose in life.
“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.”