A photo of LeBron James sitting separately from his Lakers teammates is making the rounds on social media today.
The now-viral photo was taken during Tuesday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers. The Lakers, who have been plagued by injury and drama this season, actually lost to the Pacers 136-94. With a fervent rumor mill consistently pumping out stories about disarray and lopsided power struggles, the team can’t exactly afford to be losing games too. (RELATED: LeBron James Admits His Age Plays A Factor In His Game — ‘It’s Probably All Over Social Media)
Which is exactly why the photo of LeBron sitting four chairs away from his teammates lit up the internet:
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 6, 2019
But according to at least one sports blogger, LeBron sitting four seats away from his teammates is a very normal and explicable phenomenon.
Larry Brown Sports explained the following:
The easy narrative to fill in is that the players don’t want any part of James amid all the trade talks and he doesn’t want a part of them as they’re making him look bad. But there’s actually background that explains the circumstances of the photo.
James always sits on the end of the bench, on a chair that has a special cushion.
I know these are photos of Lebron when he was injured (same with Rajon Rondo) but LeBron always sits at the end of the bench no matter what, those open seats were for whoever was playing at the time pic.twitter.com/jD8oaubSEh
— Cigarette AD (@samdroid24k) February 6, 2019
What’s more, LeBron had just been sitting next to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope before he left the bench to enter the game.
Wobvestigation: LeBron at the end of the Lakers bench pic.twitter.com/g43fkq8JYK
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) February 6, 2019
Whether or not there’s a riff remains to be seen. There’s no doubt that LeBron enjoys control, and if a number of estimated trade deals go his way, he’ll once again prove that he’s good in positions of power. But that all remains to be seen, and for now, the drama sure is delicious.