The Los Angeles Lakers put together a massive comeback win against Frank Vogel and the Phoenix Suns on Friday behind a stellar performance from LeBron James. It was a must-needed win, as it ended a three-game skid that included blowout losses to the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets.
After the game, James spoke about how the Lakers were able to keep pace with the Suns and ultimately steal the win. And his reason is largely based around a familiarity with Vogel, who coached the Lakers for three seasons and helped L.A. secure the 2020 NBA championship.
But in his speech about Vogel, James couldn’t help but take a dig at his favorite college football team’s rival, the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan was the subject of controversy this week when their head coach, Jim Harbaugh, was suspended for the rest of the regular season by the Big 10 for sign stealing. He made the reference to connect to how the Lakers stole Vogel’s signs, via Dana Scott of AZCentral Sports:
“Obviously us having the knowledge of coach Vogel and his coaching staff, we know that he’s going to switch defenses up. He has a lot of defensive packages and schemes. So it’s just about trying to read the game and see at what point — first quarter, second, third, fourth — what defense they’re in. We got some history with coach, so we kind of have that blueprint and we were able to steal some signals. That was key to our success. The thing about tonight is we were able to get those signals in and we’ll still be able to play on Sunday. We won’t be suspended like that team up North.”
James is known for making comments such as this about his arch rival Michigan. As an Ohio State fan, he has made it clear his disdain, even in joke form, for the Wolverines and has never been shy about situations like these when they’ve come up over the years.
James felt more intensity during In-Season Tournament game
Now that he’s experienced an In-Season Tournament game for the first time, James was able to more specifically talk about the positives of the new tourney implemented by the league this season. He had good things to say about the energy in the arena.
“Yeah, it had a little bit more intensity to it. I thought the fans even brought a little bit more energy to the game as well. You know obviously they have great fans here but I feel like they knew it was kind of an In-Season Tournament game too so it was a little bit more intensified and I feel like some of the plays tonight and some of the execution was at a high level. So definitely felt a little different than just a regular season game, for sure.”
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