The Denver Nuggets are NBA champions, but their head coach remembered what LeBron James did after their Western Conference Finals win.
In case you need a reminder, the Nuggets swept the Los Angeles Lakers off James and James responded by pitching the idea that he could retire this offseason, telling reporters he should think about s wants to play next season. If you know anything about LeBron James, it didn’t seem like a real possibility as almost all of his comments over the past few years indicated he would play until at least the 2024-25 season.
The improbability didn’t stop James from dominating coverage of the Nuggets’ first-ever Conference Finals victory. The Nuggets, who have spent the entire series with a chip on their shoulder, very clearly did not appreciate this.
So when Denver head coach Michael Malone gave a post-championship interview to “The Pat McAfee Show” on Wednesday, he couldn’t help but take a look at the Lakers star:
“Speaking of the Lakers, I just wanted you to know – this is breaking news – that I’m thinking of retiring. So don’t tell anyone.”
Malone later clarified that he was joking, but the message was already clear.
The joke seemed to catch the attention of James, who posted a response on Instagram two days later…we think. It’s here:
The full caption:
Been in Europe for a few weeks minding my business and I heard you cared a lot, huh??? I mean, I guess I see why. 🤷🏾♂️ But wave the flag on those blades!! Please make the player cool again as the lame machine is at an all time high. Enjoy your light, but just know that I am the SUN. I stay forever! 😉🙏🏾👑
The message is loaded with James’ usual encryption, but here’s our best attempt at translation:
“I was on vacation in Europe for the past few weeks when I heard you Michael Malone laughing at me. I understand why you did it, but I’m not impressed. Enjoy your very first championship, but understand that I’m even more accomplished than you and I’m not going away.”
Assuming that’s what James meant – and as far as we know he’s talking about something entirely different – it’s a pretty amusing footnote that James ended his post with ” I’m staying forever” when it all started with him needlessly suggesting he could retire.
The Nuggets-Lakers games already looked interesting to watch next season, but now Denver seems to have James’ full attention.