Lakers' LeBron James Doesn't 'Have a Response' to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Criticism

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 29, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) shoots as Houston Rockets forward David Nwaba, middle, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James told reporters that he didn't have a response to Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's criticism of a COVID-19 meme he posted on Instagram last Friday.

Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll relayed remarks James made following a question from The Athletic's Bill Oram after the Lakers' 132-123 road win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday:

Harrison Faigen @hmfaigen

Here is LeBron's full response to Bill's question:<a href="https://t.co/Ycc2bFkbsT">https://t.co/Ycc2bFkbsT</a> <a href="https://t.co/YyjapqzIqv">pic.twitter.com/YyjapqzIqv</a>

The Spider-Man meme compares COVID-19 to the common cold and flu, and James posted it with the caption, "Help me out folks."

Steve DelVecchio @SteveDelSports

LeBron James drew a BIG reaction from fans when he posted this COVID-related meme on Instagram <a href="https://t.co/aoYBnZjx4g">pic.twitter.com/aoYBnZjx4g</a>

Abdul-Jabbar wrote an article on Substack in response, saying that James' use of the meme "was a blow to his worthy legacy."

He also wrote in part:

"To directly address LeBron’s confusion, no one thinks colds and the flu aren’t serious. In the 2019-2020 flu season, 400,000 people were hospitalized and 22,000 people died. In 2020, 385,428 people died of COVID-19, while so far in 2021, 423,558 have died in the U.S., for a total of 808,986 deaths. Experts agree that COVID-19 is at least 10 times more lethal than the flu. As for the common cold, death is extremely rare."

James' and Abdul-Jabbar's comments come amid a worldwide COVID-19 surge as the omicron variant continues to spread, as noted by the New York Times. The daily seven-day average on Tuesday was 267,305 cases, up from 83,365 one month prior.