Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is no stranger to being in the headlines for seemingly harmless comments. This happened yet again on Thursday night during the All-Star Draft when he joked about the entire Utah Jazz franchise after Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were selected dead last by him and Kevin Durant.
Following the draft, James and Durant were asked why the two Jazz players went last despite having the NBA’s best record. James responded by saying that growing up playing video games, he never once picked the Jazz, even in their 1990’s heyday with Karl Malone and John Stockton.
While funny in the moment, it likely was not taken well among Jazz fans, and it definitely wasn’t taken well by Mitchell. He responded to the comments, saying that he doesn’t care what James says about him and his team, according to Sarah Todd of Deseret News:
Donovan Mitchell on LeBron James’ Utah comments during All-Star draft – “I don’t want to be rude but I really don’t care….people have been talking s*** about me for a while…we’re not doing this to seek the approval of him.”
— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) March 7, 2021
While James’ comments had absolutely nothing to do with Mitchell and Gobert individually, it’s understandable why the two might take it personally. They currently have a multi-game lead for the best record in the entire league and got picked after several inferior players.
The pinnacle of this was James emphasizing his need for size with Gobert still on the board only to take Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis.
While Mitchell says he doesn’t care, it’s clear that the remarks affected him and the Jazz. This could give them even more motivation as they look to capture the first championship in their franchise’s history. As it stands, they should have home-court advantage in their favor.
James jokes about drafting ‘enemy’ in Paul George
James also had another funny moment during the draft, stating that it would be the only time he would ever root for Paul George after drafting him due to them being “enemies” from rivaling L.A. teams.
It turns out James drafted the better team as they cruised to victory over Team Durant, earning money for charity in the process.
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