When the NBA playoffs come around, LeBron James usually activates what he has dubbed “Zero Dark Thirty-23” mode, in which the Lakers star logs out of social media for the duration of the postseason to focus even more fully on basketball.
With an exception in the 2020 NBA bubble — when social media was his main connection to the outside world — James has done this every year while his team is alive during the postseason since 2013. In a continuation, he had not tweeted since April 14 this season, two days before the playoffs started... until taking a victory lap on Dillon Brooks and the Memphis Grizzlies was too sweet an opportunity for even him to pass up after a series of being poked in the crown jewels and called old by a team full of frontrunning trolls he just beat 4-2.
James kicked things off over on Instagram, where he posted a slideshow with a truly legendary caption:
In addition to being some great wordplay for his first-round opponents, it also appears to be both a reference to rap lyrics, as well as reminiscent of an old Kobe Bryant tweet:
But The King wasn’t done there. While he (as far as I can tell) has not actually referred to Brooks by name since previous to the series — when he
lied claimed that the team “can’t disrespect (Brooks) because he makes shots” before completely disrespecting him defensively while he fired up clank after clank from deep — it’s easy to see exactly who James broke his Twitter hiatus for.
After all, it seems unlikely at best that he just really wanted to break “Zero Dark Thirty-23” mode just to send out some Jay-Z lyrics:
Unlike you little I'm a grown ass man— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 29, 2023
Big shoes to fill , grown ass pants
Prolly hustled with your pops, go ask your parents
Its apparent you're staring at a legend
Who, put a few little in the they place before
Trying to eat without saying they grace before!
And even if James didn’t say it, safe to say everyone on Twitter definitely noticed who all this was about:
So it’s safe to say that while LeBron said he wasn’t “here for the bulls---,” he definitely noticed it. And just like his teammates last night, he did his talking on the court before having a bit of fun off of it.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.