Watching YouTuber Jake Paul knock out former New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson in a boxing match gave MMA fighter Colby Covington an idea. Two days after that fight, Covington called out Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Covington said he could knock out James in half the time it took Paul to take down Robinson. Covington also took a shot at NBA players, calling them the “softest and most privileged athletes on the planet.”
Heard they finally scraped @nate_robinson’s carcass off the @staplescenter floor. I’d make @kingjames eat the canvas in half the amount of time. Everyone knows current @NBA players are the softest and most privileged athletes on the planet. #TysonJones #Facts
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) November 30, 2020
It took Paul a round and a half to knock out Robinson. While the fight elicited a ton of reactions from NBA stars and other athletes, very few of those reactions were positive. The fight was mostly considered a joke.
LeBron James isn’t going to fight Colby Covington
Covington may think he can goad James into a fight, but there’s no way that’s going to happen. James is still an active NBA superstar, and will maintain legendary status far after he retires from the league. James won’t need to participate in a celebrity boxing match for publicity when his career ends. While Robinson had a long NBA career, he was nowhere near James’ level.
It would also be a terrible decision for James to take that fight. Covington is a longtime UFC fighter. He’s gone 16-2 with the organization and has held the welterweight title. James is a tremendous athlete, and would have a significant height advantage, but a lack of boxing experience is what led to Robinson’s downfall. Even against Paul, who is far from a professional fighter, Robinson’s lack of experience made a huge impact on the fight. MMA and boxing are two different things, but one would assume Covington would have a massive advantage due to his fighting experience.
This is nothing new from Colby Covington
Covington’s barb about NBA players being soft and privileged is nothing new for the fighter. Covington has railed against Black Lives Matter in the past, calling people who participate in the movement “terrorists.” The NBA embraced Black Lives Matter in 2020, putting the phrase on its court. A number of NBA players wore “Black Lives Matter” on their jerseys, or wore the phrase on shirts before games.
Covington is also a big fan of President Donald Trump, who has criticized the NBA and its declining viewership in 2020. Covington — who has met with and spoken to Trump a number of times — may feel he’s supporting Trump by calling out one of the NBA’s biggest stars. James has criticized Trump in the past, and once called Trump a “bum” on Twitter.
Some MMA fighters have expressed frustration with Covington in the past, calling some of Covington’s comments “flat-out racist.” Even Reebok — which provides uniforms for UFC — distanced itself from Covington in the past.
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