Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has become one of the most recognizable faces on the planet. With a whopping 45.7 million followers on Twitter and another 62.3 million on Instagram, his platform reaches far and wide.
In this piece, we’ll take a look back at some of the most viral tweets that James has sent out over the course of his career, plus an epic Instagram moment.
From Mental Notes to #WashedKing
Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 10, 2010
LeBron James is viewed as one of the greatest players in NBA history, but he still tends to pay a bit too much attention to his critics.
In July 2010, LeBron decided to “take his talents to South Beach” and play for the Miami Heat, leaving his hometown Cavs after seven seasons of service. Critics ripped James for The Decision, and he was taking note.
Ultimately, James returned to Cleveland in 2014 after leading the Heat to a pair of titles. He then led the Cavs to their first championship in 2016, defeating the Golden State Warriors in come-from-behind fashion:
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 3, 2019
LeBron still takes aim at his critics to this day, often using #WashedKing to silence doubters:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 6, 2019
Trump, U Bum
LeBron James has been outspoken about his displeasure with the current United States President, Donald Trump.
Trump invited the Golden State Warriors to The White House after winning the 2017 championship. It’s a tradition that has tapered off in the NBA, though teams from other leagues have since paid a visit after winning their respective titles.
Instead of accepting the invite, the Warriors declined. Notably, President Trump singled out Stephen Curry in a tweet aimed at his indecisiveness just days prior:
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
The Warriors sent out an official statement after seeing Trump’s message to announce their decision:
“While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited,” the team said.
James then sent out a tweet of his own, reminding the president in a few heated words that Curry and the Warriors would not be accepting Trump’s invitation:
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
This tweet absolutely blew up, becoming the most retweeted post by an athlete in 2017.
Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts
— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 8, 2015
It was LeBron James’ first season back with the Cavs, and some members of the team were struggling to eke out a distinguished role at the time, including Kevin Love.
Interestingly, Love used these exact words — “fit-out” and “fit-in” — while speaking with reporters earlier in that season about the adjustments he was making.
Another Riding Your Wave
Never let another ride your wave 🌊!!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 8, 2017
This tweet came during a time in which Kyrie Irving was hearing his name tossed about in trade scenarios. Notably, the Cavs had just won the 2016 championship the year before, yet there were still reports indicating that certain members of ownership were willing to deal the former No. 1 overall pick.
It’s not exactly clear what LeBron James meant with this tweet, which is actually a reference to a Drake song. Some hoops fans thought this was a shot at Kyrie, but was it really?
Either way, Irving was traded just weeks later.
Ah, yes, the angry fist of Arthur, who is otherwise a jovial sort of cartoon character.
The Cavs decided to trade Kyrie Irving to the Celtics following the 2016-17 season. It was an interesting move, but the former Duke Blue Devil reportedly wanted to be dealt.
LeBron James sent out this now-famous image just minutes after Irving led Boston to a ninth consecutive victory with 35 points. Conversely, the Cavs had just lost six of their last eight games to lesser competition.
This post immediately became one of the more popular social media memes out there.
If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland! Thanks for what u did for the team for 3 yrs! We got us 1🏆
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 20, 2017
In June 2017, David Griffin decided to step down as the Cavs’ general manager. Griffin is the man who constructed the team that ended Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought in 2016, so he was well-liked by fans of the team.
LeBron James was outspoken in his support of Griffin on many occasions. When “Griff” decided to step down, The King was quick to send out an appreciative message, and he was reportedly disappointed about the decision.
LeBron James shares his opinions on world issues from time to time. In October 2019, the Lakers star criticized Rockets general manager Daryl Morey for his tweet that was in support of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.
Morey’s tweet, which was later deleted, featured a picture with the slogan, “Fight for freedom, stand for Hong Kong.” In what were his first public comments since a team trip to China, James noted that Morey was “not educated on the situation” when he sent out that tweet:
“I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke,” James said, referring to Morey. “So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.”
There was quite a bit of fallout from Morey’s tweet. In fact, Chinese companies pulled their sponsorships and enacted a media boycott of the NBA, which included canceling the local broadcasts of preseason games between the Lakers and Nets.
James argued that the timing of Morey’s message was not good, noting that NBA athletes who were playing in China at that time could’ve been endangered:
“Yes, we do all have freedom of speech,” James said, via The New York Times. “But at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re thinking about yourself.”
LeBron says he believes Rockets GM Daryl Morey wasn’t educated when he spoke about Hong Kong and that his tweet could have hurt a lot of people, including financially pic.twitter.com/UMj71DPQH7
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 15, 2019
LeBron tried to clear up any confusion about his remarks in a tweet:
Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk About that.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 15, 2019
LeBron wound up taking plenty of heat for his stance, and people even dug up this old tweet from Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2018 to criticize him:
-Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere- Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter- #ThankYouMLK50
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 15, 2018
You know what day it is …
— ESPN (@espn) August 7, 2019
LeBron leads “Taco Tuesday” chants at Staples Center 🌮😂 pic.twitter.com/hrgUV4141P
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 30, 2019
LeBron James and tacos are now synonymous with Tuesdays. NBA fans around the globe have become familiar with his cheerful “Tacoooo Tuuuuuueessdayyy” announcements, and they anxiously await for the next week’s installment.
Though the sporting world is currently in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, James and his family are keeping this lighthearted tradition alive. Now, however, it has taken on a new meaning.
Last week, James teamed up with his foundation to deliver 340 taco dinners to I Promise students and their families in Akron, Ohio. The three-time champion also helped a restaurant in his hometown that has been affected by the virus, donating more than 1,300 meals:
“Volunteers then delivered meals, calling homes in advance to let them know when they would be arriving,” Jeff Zillgitt wrote in his recent article for USA TODAY Sports. “Those families with children at the I Promise School, which is closed as the country tries to limit the coronavirus spread, still have access to the food pantry at the school but were in need of a hot meal.”
Social media has become a huge part of the sporting world. Sometimes, it can be a toxic place, as anyone can voice their opinion behind a keyboard at will. Other times, it can be used as a force for the greater good.
Let’s see what LeBron James has in store for the future.