Lakers' LeBron James: I'd Be 'F--king Irate' If Team Cheated in NBA Like Astros

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2020

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 16: LeBron James #2 of Team LeBron looks on in the fourth quarter against Team Giannis during the 69th NBA All-Star Game at the United Center on February 16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James weighed in on the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal and sided with MLB players who feel the league didn't punish the Astros harshly enough. 

James tweeted Tuesday he'd be "f--king irate" were he to discover an opposing team cheated in the NBA Finals:

MLB suspended Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch—both of whom were fired by the team—for one year while fining the organization $5 million and revoking some of its draft picks.

However, none of the Astros players received a suspension, and the franchise is still formally recognized as the 2017 World Series champion.

The Athletic's Evan Drellich noted that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred didn't issue any suspensions because they likely would've been overturned on appeal.

Manfred explained his decision not to strip the Astros of their title in an interview with ESPN's Karl Ravech:

"A big topic of conversation between me and my senior staff. ... It has never happened in baseball. I am a believer in the idea that precedent happens and when you deviate from that, you have to have a very good reason. The report gave people a transparent account of what went on. We put people in position to make their own judgments about the behavior that went on. That certainly has happened over the last month."

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Drellich's report and Manfred's comments—the latter in particular—are providing little comfort for players across MLB.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Justin Turner, who was on the losing end of the World Series, unloaded on Manfred on Monday:

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish, Turner's former teammate in L.A., had echoed that sentiment.

Dodgers star Cody Bellinger went so far as to say Astros second baseman Jose Altuve "stole an MVP" from New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge in 2017.

Now, somebody from outside of baseball—one of the biggest names in sports no less—is chiming in as well.

Manfred has issued his punishments for the Astros, and there's no going back. But that doesn't mean the criticism will cease.

Many people were bound to feel rightfully aggrieved when the scope of the Astros' sign-stealing scheme was revealed. MLB's official response to the scandal only exacerbated the situation.