The 2021-22 season hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the Los Angeles Lakers, as they’ve dropped their first two games at home to fellow Western Conference contenders against Phoenix and Golden State.
In that second loss to the Suns, the early frustrations were apparent, as Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard had to be separated on the bench after getting into an altercation during a timeout. Later in the loss, a fan got ejected from their courtside seat for slapping away the hand of Rajon Rondo, as things are far from rosy in L.A. at the moment.
As the Suns cruised to a 115-105 win that wasn’t as close as that final score indicates, they were clearly enjoying themselves and had some words for the West favorites. Cameron Payne was among those doing a lot of jawing, and his comments apparently got LeBron frustrated enough to respond, as he reminded Payne he was out of the league not long ago from the bench.
LeBron to Cam Payne: "Stay humble. You was at home a year and a half ago, now you wanna pop off."
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 23, 2021
I don’t think this comment hits the way James hopes, as if anything it’s a reminder of the rather tremendous turnaround Payne’s made in his career to go from out of the league to a key contributor on a team that made the Finals a year ago (beating the Lakers in the process). Mostly though, this all seems harmless and like the kind of interaction that happens a lot during games, just not often within earshot of a camera.