LeBron James says having All-Star Sport is ‘a slap in face’ to gamers

However following the Lakers’ victory during which James handed NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain within the historical past books, the 36-year-old had different issues on his thoughts.

The league’s determination to host an All-Star Sport — the place followers vote to pick the league’s finest gamers who play in a one-off spectacle — within the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has shocked many gamers.

James referred to as the announcement of the sport a “slap within the face” for himself and his fellow opponents.

James scores a layup past Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.
“I’ve zero vitality and nil pleasure about an All-Star Sport this yr,” he instructed the media after the Lakers’ 114-93 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. “I do not even perceive why we’re having an All-Star Sport.”

“Quick offseason for myself and my teammates. It was 71 days. After which coming into this season, we have been instructed that we weren’t having an All-Star Sport, so we might have a pleasant little break.

“5 days (in March) from the fifth by way of the 10th, a possibility for me to form of recalibrate for the second half of the season — my teammates as effectively, among the guys within the league. After which they throw an All-Star Sport on us like this and simply breaks that every one the best way up. So, um, just about form of a slap within the face.”

Though traditionally the All-Star Sport has been an Japanese Convention vs. Western Convention affair, lately, the best voted for gamers are chosen as captains for the 2 groups and people two captains decide their groups in a draft format.

The league launched the primary spherical of this yr’s voting earlier on Thursday, with Brooklyn Nets ahead Kevin Durant and James main the best way. Durant led all gamers with 2,302,705 votes, barely forward of James’ 2,288,676.

And whereas James, who has performed within the All-Star Sport in 16 of his earlier 17 seasons, stated that he’ll bodily be there if he’s chosen, mentally he will not be dedicated.

“We’re additionally nonetheless coping with a pandemic,” James — who was named a captain for the previous three seasons — stated. “We’re nonetheless coping with the whole lot that is been occurring, and we’ll convey the entire league into one metropolis that is open? Clearly, the pandemic has completely nothing to do with it at this level in relation to that weekend.”

The Lakers’ win is their third in a row and leaves them with a document of 17-6.

James celebrates his basket with his Lakers teammates.

Passing a legend

Whereas James’ postgame feedback in regards to the All-Star Sport caught all of the headlines, it was his consistency on the courtroom that took him previous one other NBA legend within the historical past books.

Within the first quarter of the Lakers’ win in opposition to the Nuggets on Thursday, the four-time NBA champion moved as much as third all-time in subject targets made.

He handed NBA Corridor-of-Famer Chamberlain’s 12,681 within the rankings. Solely Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the all-time chief with 15,837, and Karl Malone, with 13,528, stand above him.

Having surpassed one other legend within the historical past books — one thing that nearly looks like a weekly prevalence for James — he admitted that whereas the quantity 12,681 does not “do a lot for him,” being related to a legend similar to Chamberlain put him in a reflective temper.

Lakers' Wilt Chamberlain dunking against the New York Knicks in 1970.
“That does one thing for me as a result of I am a man who grew up studying in regards to the recreation, finding out the sport, finding out the gamers put up, previous and current,” he instructed the media afterwards.

“And I wished to see who was dominant of their period or who laid the groundwork for younger youngsters like myself who began to play the sport after I was 9 years previous. And Wilt clearly was an enormous staple of that.

“Defenses have undoubtedly been making an attempt to cease me from placing the ball within the basket all through my profession and I have been in a position to, for almost all, discover buckets and have my title linked to one of many biggest to have performed the sport of basketball. It’s extremely humbling. It at all times will get me occupied with my upbringing rising up in Akron, Ohio.”

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