“You gon’ do something tonight?”: Courtside video of LeBron James holding Christian Wood accountable surfaces
LeBron James appreciated Christian Wood for rising up to his challenge.
LeBron James’ leadership is an underrated part of his greatness. Many of his critics do not put him on the same tier as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant in that category. Some would even say that he’s always stat-padding and chasing after personal glory. For all of his mind-blowing basketball skills, his doubters always question his ability to carry a team without other superstars.
Most of the players who have played with and against “King James,” however, are impressed by the way he handles his teams. They appreciate how much responsibility and accountability he takes in every game. Regardless of how much he has accomplished in his career, he cares for his team and his teammates.
In a game against the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies, the LA Lakers were cruising to a win. While on the court, LeBron James remained engaged and had this exchange with backup center Christian Wood:
“Hey, hey, you gon’ do something tonight? You talk about your best shooter on the team making [a] shot then. Take it personal!”
Lebron encourages C Wood and tells him to take it personal. He shows love to C Wood right after the timeout. Luv this. Holding players accountable and showing love.
— Washed LakersvsHaters 🅿️ (@notlakersgm) December 8, 2023
James played just 23 minutes in that game and finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists and one steal. He shot 6-11, including 3-6 from deep. Lakers coach Darvin Ham took him out early as the team’s 31-point lead was enough to cruise to a win.
Christian Wood was also inserted into the lineup to give Anthony Davis a rest. The backup center struggled and was seemingly going through the motions in the impending blowout victory. James’ challenge on him worked.
Wood became instantly aggressive and attacked the rim for his only two points of the game. He finished 1-8 and missed all three of his three-pointers. The support and encouragement that the four-time MVP gave to Wood was just a perfect example of leadership.
LeBron James and the LA Lakers were dominant in their NBA In-Season Tournament win over the New Orleans Pelicans
If LeBron James had to push his teammates in that game against the Memphis Grizzlies, he had no such need versus the New Orleans Pelicans. Everyone on the team was raring to go on the court and contribute. James started slow but turned it several levels up once the second quarter started.
Following his three-point output in the first 12 minutes of the game, the four-time MVP exploded for 18 in the second period. The outburst was the biggest reason they took a 67-54 lead heading into the halftime break.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 9, 2023
From there, the LA Lakers just took the fight out of their opponents. LA’s 43-17 third-quarter demolition of the Pelicans broke the game open. Christian Wood played eight minutes and contributed four points, six rebounds and two assists.
On Saturday, they will try to become the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament winner when they take on the Indiana Pacers. Count on LeBron James to lead his team every step of the way in the finals.