“Kobe Was the Juice. Bron Had No Need”: Former NBA Champion Iman Shumpert Roasts LeBron James for Acting Like Shaquille O’Neal

Published 12/21/2021, 9:08 PM EST
Lakers Kobe Bryant argues with a referee as Cavaliers LeBron James laughs at the Staples Center Friday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Former Cavaliers star Iman Shumpert has an NBA championship ring which he won with LeBron James in 2016. However insane that comeback victory may have been, as a former teammate Shumpert made some bizarre claims about James in a recent interview. He made certain statements: one of which included the fact that James introduced “super teams” which “ruined basketball“.

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Subsequently, he received a lot of backlash on social media. James’ fans thought this was disrespectful. Moreover, some even called it absurd and baseless.

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Shumpert eventually broke his silence and started responding to fans on Twitter.

While responding to disgruntled fans, he justified his claims by using Shaquille O’Neal’s example. This is what he said on Twitter while responding to a fan annoyed with Shumpert’s claim about LeBron creating super teams.

Shumpert takes a dig at LeBron James for unnecessarily leaving the Cavs

When Shumpert broke the internet with his unbelievable claims, he faced a backlash from social media, especially Twitter. While it is understandable that one refers to this moment as iconic or groundbreaking, referring to it as the cause of “ruining basketball” might be a bit too far-fetched.

Does a player not have the right to choose what’s best for his future in terms of personal goals?

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As Shumpert said, O’Neal needed to pair up with Bryant because “Bigs have to”. A big in the NBA is anybody above or near the 7ft mark.

February 18, 2014: Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade #3, Miami Heat small forward LeBron James #6 and Miami Heat center Chris Bosh #1 observe the National Anthem before an NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Miami defeated Dallas 117-106 (Photo by Albert Pena/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NBA had listed LeBron James at 6ft 9 inches back then. Does a two-inch difference decide whether a player has the power to decide his future?

What does this mean for LeBron’s legacy?

Arguably, LeBron James is the pioneer of player empowerment in the NBA. Yet, even though LeBron James only had one all-star on his team in his first stint at the Cavaliers (Ilgauskas), Shumpert feels he had no reason to leave.

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Moreover, we are all aware of the fact that James chose Miami to join his close friend Dwyane Wade. Wade even took a pay cut to make space for LeBron in the roster.

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Using Shumpert’s logic, if O’Neal had the right to pair up with Bryant because he was “the juice”, did James not have the right to join his own close friend? Let us know what you think.

 

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

496 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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