LeBron James is getting ready for the regular season, and in a recent preseason game against the Golden State Warriors, he displayed an unusual behavior rarely seen during regular-season games. The 21-year veteran played in the first half and, knowing he wouldn’t return to the game, changed out of his uniform at halftime and returned to the bench area as a spectator for the second half. Notably, he was caught eating dinner while watching his teammates in action.
While this practice is somewhat standard during the preseason, it raised eyebrows, including those of Lakers legend Michael Cooper. On his “Showtime with Coop” podcast, Cooper expressed his disapproval, saying, “I didn’t like that. He’s LeBron James, but still, you’ve got to have respect for the game, man. I don’t mind the guy eating, but go eat in the locker room, and then when you come out, be part of the team, not just sit on the end of the bench eating.”
LeBron James has a history of incorporating food and drink into unusual situations, famously bringing a glass of wine to a game in 2018 that he ultimately didn’t play in. While post-game meals are generally harmless and may be part of James’ routine, the timing was unusual.
James is known for his habits and likely didn’t want to disrupt his post-game routine, but as his post-game activities occurred earlier than his teammates, he wanted to show support for the rest of the Lakers. While some, like Cooper, may view it as a breach of unwritten rules, the Lakers seem to have no issue with James maintaining his routine and supporting his team in his own unique way.