Lakers News: LeBron James Offers To Send Desmond Bane More Shoes Because Grizzlies Star Has To Wear Them Due To Toe Issue
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers stole home-court advantage from the Memphis Grizzlies after winning Game 1 on Sunday afternoon. Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves had strong second-half performances, serving as one of the keys to victory.

Hachimura’s 29-point outing tied Mychal Thompson’s franchise record for most points by a Lakers reserve in a playoff game. Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane admitted the plan was to leave Hachimura open and see if he can hit shots. Bane tipped his cap to Hachimura, but moments later challenged him to do the same in Game 2.

This isn’t the first time Bane’s acted petty toward a Lakers player. After Bane suffered a toe injury that forced him to miss a month earlier this season, he struggled to find the right shoe to wear. He landed on LeBron James’ new shoes, something he wasn’t happy about due to his history with the King, according to ESPN’s Tim McMahon:

“Nah. I mean, nah, I [wasn’t],” Bane told ESPN, pursing his lips and shaking his head, weeks before the second-seeded Grizzlies and No. 7 seed Lakers met in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

“But you know, I got to leave my pride to the side and do what’s best for my body and my career.”

James and Bane famously got after it during a game in the 2021-22 season. Bane’s trash talk irritated LeBron, prompting him to yell “That’s your last time disrespecting me” loud enough for cameras to catch it.

But when Bane wore the LeBron XX’s against James earlier this season, the Lakers star approached Bane asking him if he had enough pairs. The moment felt genuine to Bane. It also shattered his anxious energy about wearing the shoes of an opposing player, an unwritten rule in the NBA:

“I felt like it was love, for sure,” Bane said. “We moved on. I think we separated and settled our differences.”

LeBron felt the same way too, explaining after Game 1 that his perspective on opposing players wearing his shoes has changed and his offer to Bane was genuine:

“Respect. Respect,” James told ESPN. “I joked about it a few years ago, like, if a guy’s wearing my sneakers I’m going to have to bust your ass and s—. Like, I’m not even in that type of energy no more, that type of space. I just think that’s super dope. And I got to send some more to him now.

“I got to make sure he’s a LeBron athlete now.”

Even with the trash-talking incident, Bane and James clearly share a mutual respect. Prior to their back and forth in 2022, Bane said guarding LeBron was his “Welcome to the NBA” moment and something he acknowledged was cool. There will surely be more of those moments as the first-round series continues.

Lamar Odom predicts Lakers Championship if healthy

A two-time NBA champion with the Lakers, Lamar Odom sees the same future for this current team. He expressed his confidence in the Lakers’ championship hopes if LeBron James and the roster stay healthy.

“God James. His name is God James. The god of basketball,” Odom told TMZ. “As long as we healthy, we’re gonna win a championship.

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