Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has found himself in a war of words with Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. The two exchanged tweets after James took issue with some of Boeheim’s comments regarding NBA prospect Darius Bazley.
When asked about Bazley’s $1 million shoe internship with New Balance, Boeheim said James “did a nice job helping his client.” He then added, “He’s a LeBron James client, right?”
James took exception to those comments.
The 33-year-old James assumed Boeheim’s comments were meant to be sarcastic. Boeheim responded, saying he’s definitely not mad. He’s actually happy for Bazley.
Not me! I’m happy for him! I wish him the best.
— Jim Boeheim (@therealboeheim) October 24, 2018
James had his reasons for thinking Boeheim might object to Bazley’s situation. Bazley initially planned to go to Syracuse, but de-committed to enter the G League. Bazley never played in the G League. He signed with agent Rich Paul, which removed him from G League consideration. Paul is also James’ agent.
James likely assumed Boeheim was upset about losing out on Bazley. There’s also the issue of Bazley making money, which Boeheim spoke out against.
Boeheim today: "I don't think we should ever compensate players…They can keep their meal money… "Everybody says, 'The coach makes this and the players (0).' The player is 17 years old. I've been working my whole life. There's a lot of 17-year-old kids that don't make money.”
— Jake Smith (@iKicked_) October 24, 2018
Bazley, obviously, is not a player. But Boeheim’s attitude toward players being compensated may have influenced James’ decision to tweet about the situation.
Boeheim’s comments may have also carried some unintentional consequences:
The underlying meaning here is that LeBron James can't technically have any ownership in Klutch Sports Group, run by Rich Paul. Klutch reps LeBron and Darius Bazley, among others.
So Jim Boeheim is indirectly calling out the unorthodox nature of LeBron's relationship with Klutch https://t.co/lgaW6mnPRT
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) October 24, 2018
Because of that, Boeheim apparently called Paul to apologize.
Agent Rich Paul tells us he got an apology phone call from Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim this morning – we discuss that, why NBA prospect Darius Bazley is skipping college, and what Rich's concern level is over the Lakers as he drops in on #TheJump. pic.twitter.com/Mzij7sFISe
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 24, 2018
That leaves us with a mystery. Is Boeheim “big mad” he lost out on a recruit? Or did James read into Boeheim’s comments too much?
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