The highlight was everywhere online, precisely because it looked so deliciously disrespectful.
But LeBron James swears it was just a normal basketball play.
James casually spun the ball on his palm — twice, and right in front of defender Serge Ibaka — before burying a deep three-pointer in another playoff blowout by Cleveland Cavaliers over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Here’s a look.
And, because the internet is magical, here it is spliced together with an angry Krusty the Clown watching on TV.
The confidence! The arrogance! The disrespect!
But not so fast, LeBron told reporters Friday.
“I was just basically in my zone, in my comfort zone and after I spun the ball and I jabbed him, I seen what I needed to see from the defender to be able to get that shot off. If I didn’t see it, I would have drove it and if I didn’t have the drive, I would have gave it up and let one of my teammates attack,” James said, per Cleveland.com.
See? Just a normal basketball play. Nothing more, nothing less.
And if you believe that, I’ve got some beachfront property in Kansas to sell you.
The Raptors have so far provided little resistance to Cleveland through two games in their Eastern Conference playoffs series. Given their lack of fight, Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry had some good perspective on LeBron’s play that went viral.
“I was pretty upset, not that he did it. He should spin the ball, he’s comfortable, we can’t let him be comfortable,” Lowry said Friday, per Cleveland.com. “We have to make him uncomfortable. He’s in a situation right now where he’s playing very comfortably and the things he’s doing is comfortable. If I was comfortable I would do the same thing.”
The series moves to Toronto for Game 3 on Friday at 7 p.m. EST. We’ll see how comfortable James feels there.