LeBron James may have never played for the Ohio State Buckeyes, but that hasn’t stopped him from showing his support throughout his career. Whether it’s being at countless games in Columbus, gifting the team gear or simply being a public fan, LeBron cheering for the Buckeyes has been a constant in his career.
Perhaps, then, it shouldn’t have been expected that LeBron was going to bring up the sign-stealing scandal involving the Michigan Wolverines. For those unaware, it’s definitely too much to quickly explain — our friends over at SB Nation did a much better job of that — but simply know that Ohio State’s biggest rival is in big trouble.
So, when LeBron took the microphone in his presser following Friday’s win over the Suns, a question that may not have started anywhere Ohio State-Michigan certainly veered that way. LeBron was asked about playing against Frank Vogel and what he and Anthony Davis were trying to figure out on the floor during the first half.
“I think us having knowledge of Coach Vogel and his coaching staff,” LeBron said, “we know that he’s going to switch defenses up and he has a lot of defensive packages, a lot of schemes. It’s just about trying to read the game and see at what point throughout the first quarter, second quarter, third, fourth, what are they in.
“We’ve got some history with Coach Frank so we’re able to kind of have that blueprint, be able to steal some signals as well. That was key to our success. The best thing about tonight is we were able to get those signals and we’ll still be able to play on Sunday and not get suspended like That Team Up North.”
It’s the final sentence that is the reference to Harbaugh — who is suspended from being on the field during games the rest of the season as of now — and Michigan, That Team Up North is an oft-used phrase by Ohio State fans to reference the Wolverines.
Honestly, fair play to LeBron on this one. Typically, his jokes are very forced and corny and easy to see coming. This one? I was not ready for it. It got a well-deserved hearty laugh.
We’ll see, though, if LeBron is still laughing when the Buckeyes meet That Team Up North at the end of the season with a spot in the College Football Playoff likely on the line.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.