Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has plenty of detractors throughout the NBA world. Despite being one of the greatest to ever play while also being a clean role model for millions around the world, LeBron has garnered unwarranted hate because he seemingly kickstarted the “player empowerment” era.
While there is a weird contingency of fans that dislike LeBron for no reason other than he is great, James is still respected by his fellow peers. It is hard to find a player (who isn’t Dillon Brooks) who talks badly about LeBron as they understand his greatness and what he does for the game.
But that does not mean that LeBron is completely free of criticism from his peers. Lakers legend Michael Cooper is the latest former player to criticize LeBron but it doesn’t have anything to do with his play. Instead, Cooper is actually fed up that LeBron decided to eat some food while on the bench during the preseason. Cooper outlined his frustration on the “Showtime with Coop” podcast.
"“I didn’t like that. Again, he’s LeBron James, but still, you’ve got to have respect for the game, man. He’s over there — I don’t mind the guy eating, but go eat in the locker room, and then when you come out, you come out and be part of the team, not just sit on the end of the bench eating.”"
Michael Cooper is outraged about LeBron James eating during the Lakers preseason
For those that may have missed it, after playing the first half against the Golden State Warriors LeBron James returned out of the locker room in street clothes with something to eat. It was just a preseason game, after all, so LeBron knew that he was not going back into the game.
These are the kinds of things that critics have to latch onto with LeBron because there isn’t much else to criticize. The fact that he came back out and ate something in a preseason game is so outrageous and disrespectful to the game for some.
But let’s say LeBron followed Cooper’s advice and stayed in the locker room. If that had happened and fans had realized that he wasn’t out there then the same people criticizing him now would have criticized him for not being on the bench to support his team in the preseason.
Did we mention that this was a preseason game? And that they don’t count? And that by the time LeBron was doing this it was essentially two G League teams playing? This wasn’t even a regular-season game, it was a preseason game!
This isn’t the first time an NBA star has done this. Giannis Antetokounmpo was caught eating Skittles and popcorn while sitting on the bench in the preseason last year. But because he isn’t LeBron James, there wasn’t a manufactured outrage over it.