LeBron James’ critics have had a week to verbally slam the free agent following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ sweep in the NBA Finals last Friday. Now Stephen Jackson is adding fuel to the fire by calling one of the league’s most prominent stars a selfish player who quit on his team.
Jackson, the former NBA champion who won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003 and spent 14 seasons in the league, called out James in a Fox Sports video shared on Twitter by sports commentator Bruce Blitz Wednesday. After the Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, James announced that he was suffering from a self-inflicted broken hand.
James said that the emotions following his team’s Game 1 loss got the best of him and he punched a whiteboard. Jackson didn’t approve of the move that broke James’ hand in the series and called the 14-time All-Star selfish.
“The series is over. There’s nothing you can do about it,” Jackson said in the video clip making its rounds on social media. “You can’t go back and start over ’cause your hand hurts. It wasn’t a good decision by the guy you expect to carry your team.”
According to Jackson, “for him to do that, that was real selfish.”
Jackson began to question the heart of James and accused him of quitting on his team instead of competing against all odds.
“He quit. He knew he was playing against a better team,” the former NBA champion said. “After Game 1, he knew he was beat. Point blank, bruh. It had nothing to do with his hand.”
The fact that James decided to publicly reveal that he broke his hand after the Finals loss was questionable to Jackson who believed the injury should have been revealed earlier.
“I just think it was too late to come out with,” he said. “The series was over. If you hurt your hand, just say you hurt it. Don’t bring it up to try to make it the topic from getting swept.”
Now that James is eligible to test the free agency market, a number of reports are swirling about where he will play next. Before he prepares for another season with what could be a new team, James is one of many athletes nominated for NBA Awards.
In spite of his critics, James is nominated for an NBA MVP award. The 2018 NBA Awards ceremony will take place June 25 on TNT.