LeBron James stumps for rivals Damian Lillard, Devin Booker: 'Most disrespected player in our league'

Jason Owens
·2-min read

There's a decent chance LeBron James runs into Devin Booker or Damian Lillard in the playoffs — maybe even both. 

There's zero chance he underestimates either of them. 

After this year's NBA All-Star reserves were announced Tuesday sans Booker, James joined the charge declaring the Phoenix Suns guard a snub. He didn't use the word "snub." But his timing and message were clear. 

He followed that tweet up with his thoughts on Lillard.

Lillard — unlike Booker — was named to the All-Star team on Tuesday. But many around the NBA believed the honor arrived too late — that Lillard should have been named a starter last week. Count James among them.

Lillard barely missed the starting lineup thanks to a tiebreaker among fan, player and media voting. NBA coaches selected the reserves and decided Booker didn't cut it. 

So who would LeBron cut?

While James showed his respect for Booker and Lillard on Tuesday, he declined to name names to cut. You obviously can't add a player to a capped roster without removing another. 

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during the first half of a preseason basketball game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
LeBron James believes Devin Booker should be an All-Star. (AP Photo/Matt York)

And we can't really blame James. Talking up your rivals is one thing. Cutting them down is another — albeit a much more interesting prospect. 

Most critics named Luka Doncic as the top candidate to cut from the starting lineup in favor of Lillard — Doncic was among them. Adding Booker means leaving off one of Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Zion Williamson or Paul George. We know James isn't naming Davis. Would he dare leave off old friend and Booker's teammate Paul in favor of his backcourt mate?

Here's guessing James will never say. At least not publicly. 

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