LeBron James-Golden State Warriors Trade Report Has NBA Fans Lobbing Jokes

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LeBron James did not take his talents to the Bay Area during the NBA’s recent trade deadline, but the Golden State Warriors pursued that scenario.

Over a 24-hour window ahead of last week’s trade deadline, the Warriors unsuccessfully sought to acquire the NBA’s all-time leading scorer from the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to pair him with longtime on-court rival Stephen Curry, according to an ESPN report Wednesday morning.

Golden State was “eager” to present a blockbuster package, league insider Adrian Wojnarowski wrote, though neither James nor the Lakers were open to the idea. Four-time All-Star Draymond Green, who, like James, is represented by Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, encouraged Golden State owner Joe Lacob to reach out to the Lakers to inquire about James, the report said. But those talks did not turn into a deal.

A Warriors spokesperson, citing team policy, told Newsweek that the organization would not comment on trade rumors. Newsweek reached out by phone to representatives for James for comment.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a play during Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. The Golden State Warriors pursued a trade for James ahead of the NBA trade deadline, according to…


Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/Getty Images

The idea that James could have gone to Golden State, the club he faced off against in four consecutive NBA Finals—insert “Blocked by James” or 3-1 jokes here—had the basketball world in disbelief. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, appearing on ESPN’s Pat McAfee Show, chuckled when asked about the situation, saying he had read the report but had no prior knowledge of the talks between teams.

And there were plenty of online reactions from there.

Josiah Johnson, known for his humorous sports memes on X (formerly Twitter), shared a few regarding James and the Warriors. One playfully shared a potential type of reaction from Golden State when it became clear “King James” was staying put, while the other teased Klay Thompson’s unclear role in the deal with a clip from Straight Outta Compton.

Speaking of the second “Splash Brother,” @GuruLakers also poked fun at Thompson. And X user @MrRickySpanish accurately shared a clip of a half-court heave attempt missing the mark to describe Golden State’s Hail Mary approach to trading for James.

@Unkempt_Media and @MaskedInLa were among the many to draw similarities to the franchise previously bringing in superstar Kevin Durant. And @Shane00 offered a “chef’s kiss” emoji at the idea of the Warriors attempting to trade for the four-time MVP after the Lakers eliminated them from the playoffs last year.

This whirlwind of a story surfaced amid disappointing seasons for both of these California-based teams.

The Lakers (29-26) and Warriors (26-25) are ninth and 10th, respectively, in the Western Conference standings. Both squads have won seven of their last 10 games to peak back up over .500 for the time being.

Over the past few months, James has voiced his frustration over his team’s struggles. Early last month, the 20-time All-Star bluntly said the Lakers “suck right now” after a fourth consecutive loss. And a few weeks ago, after a loss to the Hawks, the four-time NBA champ admitted, “On any given night, we can get our ass kicked by any team in the NBA. That’s just the [facts].”

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The 39-year-old—who is averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game this season—holds a $51.4 million player option on his contract for 2024-25. Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka said that he spoke with James before the deadline—which the team was quiet at—and that the future Hall of Famer was committed to L.A.

“The last conversation I had with him was that he was focused on the guys in the locker room and making them the best players and teammates they could be,” Pelinka told reporters at a recent press conference. “He knows as our leader and as our captain that building those guys up and getting the best versions of [them] is going to be important to the run we make. I’m excited to see that unfold.”

James and the Lakers return to the court on Wednesday night for a 9 p.m. ET road game against the Utah Jazz. The still James-less Warriors host the Los Angeles Clippers at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.