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LeBron James’ Alleged Doping Plot Thickens After Kevin Garnett’s Viral Claim on Lakers Star

Published 02/29/2024, 5:46 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

King James better watch out because they’re coming for his crown! The 20-time All-Star LeBron James has been finding his name attached to the GOAT status for a while, but with that, his name has also been associated with using performance-enhancing drugs. “We have the same drug guy. I know exactly what [LeBron’s] doing,” claimed former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen in September 2023. At the time, this took the internet by storm. And now, five months later, Kevin Garnett has reignited the age-old debate: Is LeBron on ster**ds?

In a recent episode of his podcast, All the Smoke, KG Certified, Garnett and Paul Pierce were talking about Bronny James. Pierce said, “Bronny can get a bucket on Bron,” but Garnett was having none of it. “No, he can’t.” When Pierce argued that the 19-year-old was quite explosive, it’s what Garnett responded with that intensified LeBron James’ doping rumors.

“He is, but have you seen his dad? His dad is on that BALCO, he’s on that new juice,” remarked the NBA veteran. While he may have said this in passing, many hung on to what he seemingly revealed. And experts like Jason Whitlock dissected it to understand the allegations thrown at ‘L-Train.’ 

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Expert Jason Whitlock acknowledged that the “ster**d card” is often played due to the constant comparisons of LeBron James to other GOATs like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. He investigated the matter and pointed out how “ESPN got access to the DA report, a redacted version, and wrote a story that went out of its way to exonerate LeBron James.” All of this refers to an ESPN coverage from September 2023 about the 2013 federal Biogenesis investigation.

To explain it further, Whitlock used a rather interesting analogy. He said, “Jason Whitlock was seated in the living room. In his kitchen was his brother and best friend, and there was McDonald’s spread out all over the kitchen. Investigators came into my house, saw me seated in the living room, saw my brother and one of my best friends seated in the kitchen surrounded by all of this McDonald’s. The investigators came in and say, ‘There’s no proof that Jason Whitlock ate any of this McDonalds.’” But how does this relate to James?

Whitlock stated how LeBron has had the longest NBA career among the league’s elite players, how he looks fitter now than he did at 18, and how his endurance is unbelievably high. Coming back to the McDonald’s analogy, he added, The other guy that looks like a Greek God at age 40 and 41, he got nothing to do with ster**ds. Not him. Investigators cleared him.”

Speaking of his stamina, Chael Sonnen mentioned how that’s “the reason LeBron takes [EPO].” EPO is a PED that increases the production of red blood cells, which gives athletes the endurance to play for long periods. This came after unreleased documents from the 2013 Biogenesis scandal resurfaced with connections to the LA Lakers superstar again last year.

A deeper dive into LeBron James’ connection to the BALCO investigation

The investigation into BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative) and Biogenesis rocked the sporting world and is considered the biggest sports PED scandal of the 21st century. Biogenesis was a wellness clinic in Miami, Florida, run by Anthony Bosch, who supplied performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. Unsealed documents from the Biogenesis investigation revealed that LeBron James’ longtime friend and business manager, Ernest Mims, and James’ former trainer, David Alexander, were clients of the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic.

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As Jason Whitlock pointed out, ESPN reported that these documents do not accuse James of using PEDs, nor do they contain any evidence of his involvement. When he made the McDonald’s reference, Mims and Alexander were the “brother” and “best friend” in the scenario. Mims was reportedly listed in the documents as purchasing controlled substances for personal use with no intention of distributing them. He was never charged with a crime or questioned by authorities. Alexander, who previously trained James’ wife Savannah, was allegedly involved in trading PEDs for new clients.

One of those clients, according to the documents, was Mims. A representative for LeBron stated that neither he, his wife, nor any associates were aware of their connection to the investigation until contacted by ESPN. Last year’s development marked the first significant update in the Biogenesis investigation in several years, suggesting it may not be over.

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While James himself has been cleared of wrongdoing, the connection of close associates to the scandal raises questions and keeps the story alive. Kevin Garnett may have just opened a can of worms with what he said on his podcast. So, what do you think? Is King James really on “that juice,” or is his name being sullied to keep him out of GOAT status? Share your thoughts below!

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Written by:

Aakritee Raajj

224Articles

One take at a time

A lawyer turned NBA Writer at EssentiallySports, Aakritee Raajj found herself in the right realm as soon as she dropped her black coat to don the Mavericks’ jersey in the NBA department. That’s how the content strategy desk trusts her with any coverage demanding a legal knowhow. She became a fan of the league in the late 2000’s after Dirk Nowitzki upset the Miami Heat in Game 6 during 2011 NBA Finals.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja