‘LeQuit at it again’: James blasted for tantrum exit in Lakers loss while Lillard breaks records and enters ‘God mode’ (VIDEO)
Meekly defending their championship crown, Frank Vogel's men are staring down the barrel of an embarrassing first-round exit.
Losing by some 30 points on Tuesday - and a margin of 115-85 - at the Phoenix Suns Arena, they now trail by 3-2 going into what could be either a series decider or leveler in LA on Thursday.
As the clock still had around six to five-and-a-half minutes to spare in the fourth quarter, however, LeBron couldn't control his emotions while his team was losing 105-73, and off he went down the tunnel in a huff.
LeBron hitting the locker room early to get his excuses ready for his press conference pic.twitter.com/eGOwcsqMut— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 2, 2021
"LeBron has seen ENOUGH" read the caption to a clip of the incident, which has already been viewed nearly 750,000 times, before the same sports page reposted and changed the title to "LeBron hitting the locker room early to get his excuses ready for his press conference".
"Absolutely embarrassing that this is the face of the sport," said one detractor, before calling the NBA a "clown league".
"LeQuit at it again" remarked another.
"Maybe just retire from the game. The act is so overcooked," it was also suggested.
"It's disappointing that he's walking out on his team. How do you inspire them when you only with them when they winning?" a separate party asked.
LeBron fans, reading their list of excuses why the Lakers lost Game 5 pic.twitter.com/fGQjcQmOl6— NOTSportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) June 2, 2021
But while haters scoffed that his fanboys would also list their numerous excuses, LeBron offered none to be fair.
"We got our a** kicked. It's just that simple," he said post-match.
"They pretty much just kicked our a**. That's all there is to say."
With the defeat, it was the first time that James had lost consecutive first round games in his storied career, and also the first time he has trailed a first round series after the conclusion of Game 5 or later.
LeBron in locker room calling Dame to see if he’s in for next year pic.twitter.com/Kmy61RwEjQ— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 2, 2021
It was implied that LeBron had left early to call Damian Lillard and check his availability, after the Portland Trail Blazers point guard enjoyed a career night in a thriller for the ages against the Denver Nuggets.
Though his side lost 147-140 in the double overtime clash, he smashed the NBA playoffs record for three-pointers with no fewer than 12, while also putting up 55 points overall plus 10 assists, six rebounds and three blocks - which was also an all-time feat.
Damian Lillard is the first player in NBA history with at least 50 points, 10 assists and 10 three-pointers in a game, regular season or playoffs. pic.twitter.com/k4bXNY4ndv— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 2, 2021
A one man show who had little help from teammates, he almost won the game single-handedly but couldn't do it all alone as the Trail Blazers fell to 3-2 in the series like the Lakers.
Yet of course his display didn't go unnoticed, and was highly-praised from fellow elite athletes such as former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion boxer Andre Ward, who also hails from Oakland like Lillard.
DAME SENDS THE GAME TO 2OTHe has 50 PTS pic.twitter.com/CQdYa0ROkH— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 2, 2021
"Yes, Lord," Ward wrote alongside a watch emoji, to signify it was indeed "Dame Time" while sharing a post from his punditry employers ESPN.
Calls demanding Lillard join a "real team" were widespread, with fans of everyone from the Lakers to the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks attempt to lure him to their franchise.
damian lillard leaving the blazers to team up with lebron on the lakers this summer pic.twitter.com/1EWvErRGjv— buckets (@buckets) June 2, 2021
The most clutch shot maker in the NBA is @Dame_Lillard hands down— Famouslos32 (@famouslos32) June 2, 2021
For his continuous huge baskets under pressure to prolong the game, he was dubbed the NBA's biggest "clutch shot maker...hands down".
And receiving further compliments from the highest of places within the sport itself, Kevin Durant was "seriously at a loss for words" to describe "this MASTERPIECE by Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Sr".
I had like 4 tweets I wanted to write to describe this MASTERPIECE by Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Sr, but I am seriously at a loss for words...— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 2, 2021
This a spiritual experience.— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 2, 2021
God mode.— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 2, 2021
"This is a spiritual experience" the former Golden State Warriors and current Brooklyn Nets added later, while also stating that Lillard, who is a youth pastor, was in "God mode".
Even Austin Rivers, whose job it was to keep Lillard quiet, had to own up to his futility.
"Bro....he was not missing for sh*t," he wrote on Instagram alongside a facepalm emoji, while replying to a screenshot of Durant's 'masterpiece' tweet.
When Austin Rivers said “Thank God,” I think every Nuggets fan in the world felt that. pic.twitter.com/A0M89qtooH— SLAM (@SLAMonline) June 2, 2021
"One hand in his face, two hands in his face. Lol I’m like wtf is this. Banking threes and sh*t."
"In all seriousness, it’s really fun to guard him. He’s as tough as they come. No lie," Rivers signed off, and was elsewhere caught on camera literally thanking god when Lillard missed a rare shot.