Did LeBron Send A Cryptic Shot At Blazers Star CJ McCollum?
LeBron James appeared to send a cryptic message to Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum this week.
On Saturday night, shortly after the Blazers clinched the eighth seed in the NBA Western Conference with a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, James posted an interesting post on his Instagram stories.
“Can you swim!?!? Yeah, IGHT,” it read, with a shark emoji included.
Nipsey Hussle’s “Status Symbol 2″ could be heard in the background of the story.
Many interpreted James’ post as a cryptic shot at McCollum, because the Blazers star referred to himself as a shark during a postgame interview on Saturday.
“I always said that I was a shark,” he said following his team’s win.
“No matter what the circumstances are. I always told people don’t worry about me, I’m going to figure out how to eat and that’s what I’ve always done.
“Because if you don’t kill, you will be killed out here. You will be destroyed, figuratively obviously and you will be going home.”
Based on McCollum’s comments, it is clear why some interpreted James’ message as a shot at him.
Also intriguing are the lyrics to Status Symbol 2.
“Stop them games where they start to begin,” Nipsey Hussle raps.
“Lion heart in my brim. And ***** it get dark in the den. Question is homie with the sharks can you swim? Smell fakes, smell *****, smell fear Killer instinct we can tell what is pretend.”
That is a lot of shark references from James on Saturday night. Too many for it be coincidental, some might argue.
CJ McCollum postgame talking about his ability to be a shark 🦈
Looking forward to writing my postgame story on McCollum’s shark tendencies and the overall character of this Blazers squad which starts with Dame.
— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonNBCS) August 15, 2020
LeBron, Lakers Have Tough Road Ahead Against Blazers
James and the Los Angeles Lakers will square off against the Blazers on Tuesday night in the opening game of their No. 1 vs No. 8 Western Conference series.
Odds makers have LA listed as a decent favorite at -500 to prevail, but nowhere near the sort of sure-thing the Milwaukee Bucks are versus the Orlando Magic (-8000). Nor do they have even the same odds as the Toronto Raptors over the Brooklyn Nets (-8000).
There are two reasons for this. One, Portland is entering the postseason as arguably the hottest team still alive in the playoffs. Only the Phoenix Suns looked scarier in the NBA Bubble, and they failed to qualify for the postseason.
The second reason why people are giving the Blazers such a shot is because how out-of-sync the Lakers looked in the NBA Bubble. James alluded to there being some sort of issue hanging over the team that he hoped would be worked out by the time the playoffs began, but it remains to be seen if that will ultimately be the case.
All in all, the Blazers match up well with the Lakers. And their regular season record is not really indicative of what they currently look like, because they are actually much healthier now (McCollum’s broken back being the exception) than they were before.
LA should still emerge from the first round victorious, but there is a reason why the odds makers have this series a lot closer than most would originally expect it to be.
James will need to show up and play big. Anthony Davis will need to perform in the postseason, something he has no real track record of doing. And somehow, the Lakers will need to do something nobody else in the NBA Bubble could – stop Dame Lillard.
Can they do it? Sure. Will they? Time will tell.
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