Miami Heat’s LeBron James has responded to brash remarks fired his way from Oklahoma City Thunder player Serge Ibaka, calling his NBA Finals opponent stupid.
Rather than take the matter seriously, LBJ simply looked past his comments.
Ibaka, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s power forward, said Monday that James was “not a good defender” and that “he can play defense for two or three minutes but not 48 minutes.” James responded to the comments before Tuesday’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals. “I don’t really care what he says, he’s stupid,” James said. “Everyone says something to me every series, then (the media) tries to get a quote. It’s stupid.” (ESPN)
Reports of Ibaka’s assertive remarks emerged Tuesday (June 19) morning.
LeBron is not a good defender,” Ibaka said about the player who received the most votes for the league’s all-defensive team, which is selected by the coaches. “He can play defense for two to three minutes but not 48 minutes.” James was switched onto Kevin Durant after Game 1 when Durant scored 36 points and shot 12-of-20 with Shane Battier primarily covering him. Since, Durant is averaging 28.5 points on 23-of-41 shooting and Heat have won two games, taking a 2-1 series lead into Tuesday’s Game 4. “LeBron can’t play (Durant) one-on-one,” Ibaka said. “They’re playing good defense like a team.” (Palm Beach Post)
While Ibaka’s comments may raise questions, it is LBJ’s 30-plus points per game average which has helped secure a 2-1 series lead for the Heat.
A year after being shredded for not rising to the moment on the league’s biggest stage – and vowing that he would change that perception this time around – James has helped carry the Heat back to the spot where it all went wrong in 2011. They’re halfway home in these finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and will take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series into Game 4 in Miami on Tuesday night. So far in the series, James is averaging 30.3 points and 10.3 rebounds. A year ago against Dallas, he averaged 17.8 points and 7.2 rebounds when Miami lost the title round in six games. (Orange County Register)
The NBA Finals has caught the attention of hip-hop stars like Game who is rooting for the Thunder.
“I gotta go for the Thunder because you know my n*gga James Harden, Russell Westbrook, them LA n*ggas, young boys. I gotta ride with the Thunder, man,” Game said in an interview. “I can’t f*ck with Chris Bosh anyway. I don’t like that n*gga. Nobody like’s this n*gga’s face, man. It ain’t even nothing against D-Wade and Bron-Bron, I don’t like Bosh’s face. I can’t have that n*gga get an NBA championship holding a trophy with that face.” (“G-Unit Radio”)
Check out coverage of tonight’s Game 4 match-up below: