Sportress of Blogitude

Reason why LeBron James celebrated shoeless on court rebuts criticism

LeBron James was called out by the Utah Jazz television broadcasting team after he was spotted celebrating on the court during Wednesday night’s game while not wearing shoes.

It turns out the reason why the Los Angeles Lakers superstar was shoeless arguably renders the criticism somewhat moot in hindsight. Or, at the very least, softens the sting of it.

With the Lakers well on their way to a 121-96 road victory at Vivint Smart Home Arena, James was able to take a seat on the bench for the rest of the game with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

During garbage time with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, James briefly stepped onto the court to celebrate a pair of blocks by Kyle Kuzma. This elicited harsh criticism from the Jazz broadcasting team of Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring, who deemed James’ antics a sign of “disrespect.”

The game being well in hand and James knowing he would not return to the court, the Lakers star had indeed removed his shoes. Courtside footage shared later by ESPN, however, established the very good reason why James could not put his shoes on again even if he wanted to: He had autographed the sneakers and given them to a couple of young Jazz fans.

The Jazz announcing team presumably were not aware of the reason why James was shoeless during his celebration. Perhaps that may have altered their perspective. That said, everything James does is examined under a microscope, so it’s conceivable that if another player had committed the same so-called transgression, it may not have even been noticed.