Lakers News: Jalen Hood-Schifino Clarifies He Meant No Disrespect By Calling LeBron James Old
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to introduce their 2023 draft class on Tuesday afternoon as Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis spoke to the local media for the first time.

One of the topics that came up was being teammates with LeBron James, who is 38 years old and about to enter his 21st season in the NBA.

When the Lakers drafted Hood-Schifino, ESPN put up a graphic that showed he was just seven days old when James was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003.

“I did see that post on ESPN and I was like ‘dang, LeBron’s old,'” Hood-Schifino joked when asked about it. “Nah, but it’s crazy to think about. Obviously he’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game and has been in the league for going on 21 years now. So just his knowledge of the game and what he can bring to the table for me as well as Max and the other guys, I think it’s gonna be good and really beneficial.”

Some people took Hood-Schifino’s obvious joke as disrespect towards LeBron, similar to when Dillon Brooks called him old during the first round of last year’s playoffs. Because of that, the Lakers rookie took to Instagram to clarify that he did not mean it to come off that way:

Hopefully most people didn’t take Hood-Schifino’s clear joke as a sign of disrespect to James, but it is good to see the rookie clarify himself just in case anyone did.

The last thing you want as a 20-year-old kid entering the NBA is to be in bad graces with your new teammates, especially someone of James’ stature that he will be learning from all season.

James wears his age as a badge of honor though as no one has accomplished what he did in his 20th season, so it’s hard to see him taking Hood-Schifino’s comments the wrong way.

Hood-Schifino believes character and work ethic impressed Lakers

When asked why he believes the Lakers picked him over a number of other quality prospects at No. 17 in the 2023 NBA Draft, Hood-Schifino pointed to his character and work ethic.

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