The Los Angeles Lakers recently putting the finishing touches on one of the most challenging postseasons in basketball history, defeating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. NBA players like Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony quickly took to social media to praise the Lakers, as well as Finals MVP LeBron James. So did plenty of players from other sports leagues.
In fact, one of the funniest congratulations came courtesy of future NFL Hall of Famer Tom Brady. Brady praised James, while also poking fun at himself.
LeBron James’ impressive milestone with the Lakers
The 2020 Lakers championship will go down in history for a number of reasons. For one thing, it was won under trying circumstances, with teams playing under quarantine for months in the Orlando bubble.
Initially, some analysts questioned whether this year’s title would come with an asterisk. Now, however, the consensus is that the challenging circumstances only make this victory all the more impressive.
This championship also marks an important turning point in LeBron James’ career. James now has four titles to his name, having earned them with three different teams.
That puts him just two shy of Michael Jordan’s six championships. As a result, both fans and media members now must reconsider the GOAT debate.
Even those who haven’t yet declared James the best of all time admit that this title drastically alters the conversation. If James — along with fellow superstar Anthony Davis — can manage to win another title or two in the coming years, that will likely cement his place as the greatest to ever play the game.
Tom Brady congratulates LeBron James in the most hilarious way
It’s no secret that James commands a massive amount of respect from athletes in virtually every professional league around the world. That includes arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady.
Brady joined the chorus of voices praising James the day after the Lakers secured the championship, tweeting:
“Congrats to my brother @KingJames on winning his 4th championship. Not bad for a washed up old guy!”
James quickly responded, taking Brady’s good-natured jab in stride:
“Hahaha!! My brother Thank You!!! Not so bad for the washed up King.”
Brady’s congratulatory tweet included a photoshopped image of James wearing a Buccaneer’s jersey and holding up four fingers.
The self-trolling context of Tom Brady’s tweet
The image in Brady’s tweet had a self-deprecating context that NBA fans might not have picked up on right away. It referred to a game Brady had played a few days earlier in a Week 5 match against the Chicago Bears.
During a crucial possession near the end of the game, Brady made a mental error, mistakenly thinking that a fourth-down play was occurring on third down.
As a result, Brady remained on the field looking visibly confused for several moments. He even held up four fingers — an image that quickly turned into a meme. NFL fans were especially unsettled since Brady’s error was so uncharacteristic for a player long-known for his mental preparedness.
By including the image in his congratulatory tweet, Brady was in effect admitting to his mistake — and even going so far as to troll himself. That kind of playfulness is rare for Brady, who is a notoriously private person. In other words, Brady’s tweet was almost as surprising as his mental lapse against the Bears.
Brady’s fans will certainly be eager to get more a glimpse at his light-hearted side moving forward. They’ll also be hoping that such moments don’t all come at the cost of an embarrassing on-field mistake.