LeBron James has been one of the best basketball players in the NBA for years. But he has also been more than a basketball player—he has been an entertainer, too. This is not just because of what he does on the basketball court (which is entertaining, of course).
It also includes what he does off the court—like throwing shade.
With the advent of social media, the lives and actions of star players like LeBron James are closely watched and scrutinized. But LeBron is not a dummy. He knows everyone is listening to his every word and dissecting it for whatever meaning they can derive.
Due to this reality, he has become a master of sending quiet, subtle shade over the years.
There was the time he wore an Ultimate Warrior t-shirt stepping off the plane holding the championship trophy following the Cavaliers win over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals:
Then there was the time he dissed Reggie Miller before passing him on the all-time scoring list. Oh—and his reaction when Steph Curry’s name is mentioned in this interview:
His shade is slight and not always obvious, but that is what makes him a master.
He took one of his best shots Thursday afternoon at a former teammate, Kyrie Irving.
Earlier in the day, several media outlets carried stories about Irving’s latest appearance on Kevin Durant’s podcast. During the show, Irving expressed how glad he was to have someone else on the team that could be trusted to make clutch shots.
His comments, as could be expected, sent social media into a frenzy. Has he forgotten about James? Or is he throwing shade of his own minus the subtlety James likes to use?
Later in the day, James was asked about his relationship with Anthony Davis and the secret to their success. Many have taken his response as him throwing shade at Irving:
As heavily as Irving’s words have been commented and reported on, someone was bound to ask him about the apparent diss in hopes he would elaborate. But instead, he denied there was any diss intended:
Come on. Did we really expect Irving to admit to it?
So, can we expect someone to ask James about his diss? Of course, not! Because when your shade is as subtle as James’s is, there is nothing to ask about (or apologize for).