LeBron James says ‘no slander’ of Jazz after Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell fall to bottom of All-Star Draft
Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were already upset by the lack of respect for NBA refereeing teams. Wait until you see the results of the 2021 NBA All-Star Draft.
All-Star captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant selected their squads on Wednesday, and the rosters were shared Thursday night on the pre-game “NBA on TNT” show. Although Utah is alone atop the NBA standings with a 27-9 record, the two available jazz players didn’t come off the table until the final two picks.
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Durant chose Mitchell to fill his last reserve spot, leaving James with Gobert. Ahead of his penultimate pick, James noted he needed a certain height, then took Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis instead of Gobert.
“I’m not going for this Utah Jazz slander right now,” TNT analyst Charles Barkley said. “Come on, man … They had the best record in the NBA, and their best two players are the bottom two. That’s slander. It’s slander, America.”
James responded to Barkley’s “slander” charge – the Hall of Famer used slander as a substitute for disrespect, not the legal definition of the word – by offering an explanation that involved, uh, video games?
“There is no slander in the Utah Jazz,” James said. “You have to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. Even as tall as Karl Malone and John Stockton were, we would never choose these guys in video games. . Never.”
First Mitchell and Gobert fall into the rough, then James dunks on the digital versions of Malone and Stockton? Oh man. LeBron better bring a great security team the next time he visits Utah.