Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James took to social media on Thursday to shrug off criticism made by Utah Jazz television announcers and defend his actions for coming onto the court in socks to cheer his teammates in the closing minutes of Wednesday night’s blowout win.
James, who had already exited the game and had given his shoes to kids in the stands, came off the bench onto the corner of the court after teammate Kyle Kuzma twice blocked shot attempts in the paint by Utah’s Tony Bradley with 2:35 remaining and the Lakers leading 116-96.
James’ excitement amped up on the second block, with him hopping up and down on the baseline while waving a towel, moving toward the basket as the Lakers garnered the ball and headed the other way.
The Jazz announcers took offense to James’ actions, saying “that’s some disrespect right there.”
On Thursday, James chalked up the criticism to “negativity, bad energy, hate” in an Instagram post.
“Imagine doing your job at the highest level to where you’re not needed anymore, giving your shoes to a lil girl and boy who you inspire and hoped you made proud that night, then cheering on your teammates cause you love seeing them succeed more than yourself only to be criticized while doing it,” James posted. “People it’s the world we live in and you can’t let it ever stop you from your purpose in life. Negativity, bad energy, hate, envy, etc etc will try to bring you down throughout your journey and it’s up to you on how you handle it. I handle it by simply saying “Thank You” with a [smile] on my face and continue to push forward while doing it!”
James left the game with 7:46 remaining and the Lakers leading 105-83. He finished with 20 points in the 121-96 victory.