LeBron James Executes an Embarrassing Act of Poor Leadership by Leaving the Lakers Bench Early and Immediately Praising Their Opponent on Twitter

LeBron James is starting to grow impatient as he remains out of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ lineup due to an abdominal injury. So impatient, in fact, that he didn’t even stick around to watch the end of LA’s blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

After retreating to the locker room with more than five minutes still remaining in the fourth quarter, James took his embarrassing act a step further by pulling out his phone and praising a Bulls player on Twitter.

LeBron James hasn’t enjoyed watching his undermanned Lakers from the bench

LeBron James leaving the bench early on Monday night was a horrible look for the Lakers superstar.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers sits on the bench during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As the superhuman athlete he is, James has barely missed any time due to injury throughout his legendary NBA career. The 36-year-old has played at least 55 games in each of his 18 seasons as a pro.

But James recently suffered a rare setback when he went down with an abdominal strain earlier this month. He’s now missed the last seven games for LA, and he hasn’t liked what he’s seen from the sidelines.

The Lakers have gone 3-4 without James in the lineup, but it’s how they’re losing these games that’s the most problematic. Over the last two weeks, Los Angeles has lost to the 5-8 Oklahoma City Thunder and the 7-8 Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers also got embarrassed by the 4-9 Minnesota Timberwolves in a 24-point loss on their home court.

On Monday night, the Lakers fell to the Bulls in another blowout loss at Staples Center, and LeBron couldn’t even stick around to watch the whole game.

LeBron James inexplicably leaves the Lakers bench early and praises their opponent on Twitter

With just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ loss to the Bulls on Monday night, Chicago held a commanding lead of nearly 30 points over the Western Conference favorites. At that point, James decided he had seen enough. So, he quickly stood up from his spot at the end of the bench and snuck back to the locker room as the rest of his team stuck around for the end of the blowout.

This isn’t the first time James has pulled this stunt. During Game 5 of LA’s playoff series against the Phoenix Suns last season, LeBron left for the locker room at a similar point in the game with the Lakers trailing by nearly the exact same margin. The Lakers revealed afterward that James left the bench early to get treatment on his injured ankle, so this could’ve been a similar move in regards to his abdominal injury.

But still, it wasn’t a great look for the leader of the locker room. What difference would an extra five minutes make, anyway?

To make matters worse, James hopped on Twitter seconds after the final buzzer to show love to his former teammate and current Bulls guard, Alex Caruso.

An embarrassing act of poor leadership

The Lakers are getting blown out left and right with James on the sidelines, and they’re now in danger of falling below .500 before he returns to the lineup. As the vocal and emotional leader of the team, what kind of message does that send when he flees from adversity to jump on Twitter and praise his former teammate?

LeBron is the one responsible for righting this ship, and although he can’t do so on the court right now, it’s even more important that he’s there for his teammates to guide them through tough times. He can’t do that from the locker room when the rest of the team is sticking around for the end of games.

No one on that sideline is happy with LA’s recent skid, but running away doesn’t solve the problem. It only compounds it.

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