NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rips LeBron over 'childish' act

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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  • Los Angeles Lakers
    Los Angeles Lakers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • LeBron James
    LeBron James
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    American basketball player and writer
LeBron James' decision to imitate the 'big balls' dance popularised by former NBA player Sam Cassell has drawn sharp criticism from Lakers and NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who called it 'childish'. Pictures: Getty Images
LeBron James' decision to imitate the 'big balls' dance popularised by former NBA player Sam Cassell has drawn sharp criticism from Lakers and NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who called it 'childish'. Pictures: Getty Images

LeBron James is never shy about pushing basketball's boundaries, but one act after a recent victory rubbed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the wrong way.

The Lakers' recent victory over the Indiana Pacers was an eventful one to say the least - an overtime victory punctuated by an impressive performance from James.

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That game was also memorable due to James' request to have two Indiana fans tossed out by security after they allegedly made tasteless remarks about the Lakers star's family.

James had 39 points in the overtime victory, with three of those coming on a crucial shot with just over a minute left to play in the extra period.

Clearly feeling himself after the huge play, James danced down the court and imitated the infamous 'big balls' dance once popularised by former NBA guard Sam Cassell in the 2000s.

At the time the NBA cracked down on players for doing the dance, which many felt was not a great look for the league or the players.

Despite the dance becoming more of a meme in today's NBA, Lakers legend Abdul-Jabbar said it was still a bad look - describing the sight of James dancing his way down the court as 'childish' and 'disrespectful'.

“For me, winning is enough. Why do you need to do a stupid, childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? It doesn’t make sense. GOATs don’t dance," he said in a video posted to his SubStack page.

James earned a $15,000 fine from the NBA for his troubles.

He was later sidelined for several games after returning what was later revealed to be a false positive Covid-19 test, returning to the Lakers line-up over the weekend.

LeBron James explains anger over NBA coronavirus protocol

LeBron James isn't happy with the way the NBA handled his positive COVID-19 test. James returned to action Friday after it was determined he experienced a false positive. 

James discussed going through the NBA protocols, and revealed the part that angered him.

James spoke about his experience following the team's 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. James had 23 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

"I tested negative first. And then my second test came back positive," he said. 

"Usually when you have a positive test, they will test you right away to make sure. There was not a follow-up test after my test. 

LeBron James has discussed his frustrations with the NBA's Covid-19 protocols after he recently returned a false positive test. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
LeBron James has discussed his frustrations with the NBA's Covid-19 protocols after he recently returned a false positive test. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

"It was straight isolation, and 'you've been placed in protocol.' And that's the part that kind of angered me.

"I had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by myself. They wouldn't allow anyone to travel with me, no security, no anything, when I traveled back from Sacramento. 

"I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being, put the people in my household in isolation for the time being, so it was a big-time inconvenience."

James' positive test came Tuesday. He was unable to play in the team's game against the Sacramento Kings, and was immediately placed in isolation. 

Three days later, James was released from NBA health and safety protocols after testing negative twice in a 24-hour period.

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