Kyle Kuzma is feeling himself a bit with the Washington Wizards’ hot start to the 2021-22 season. The Wizards are surprisingly tied atop the Eastern Conference with the Brooklyn Nets. Falling into a good situation after being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers, Kuzma was not in the mood to take any guff from hecklers during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.
The Wizards won that contest, 97-94, and Kuzma hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining — his sixth three of the game. Kuzma told the media that he drew some motivation from the hecklers with a sign that read, “LeBron got Kuzma his ring.” He turned and responded to them: “Without LeBron, Cleveland wouldn’t be shit.” Harsh, but he believed they chose violence and he simply responded in kind.
Today, ESPN tweeted out a screenshot of a News 5 Cleveland graphics person having some fun with this. Their chyron underneath Kuzma’s name read “won an NBA Championship thanks to LeBron James.” Kuzma saw the tweet and more or less responded, “nice to meet you black pot, I’m black kettle.”
The Cavaliers are currently 9-5 but will be without their leading scorer, Collin Sexton, for an extended period of time with a meniscus tear. Hopefully, they can hold on while he heals and the Wizards play well enough for the rest of the season to stay out of the play-in game, because Cavaliers playoff beef is always fun.
There was the DeShawn Stevenson-LeBron James beef of 2008. Who cares that the Cavs won the series? It was a peak aughts moment, with Soulja Boy courtside in a Stevenson jersey and Jay-Z making diss tracks about a player beefing with James who never averaged 12 points per game. Then, the next decade, there was former Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah taking out Cleveland multiple times, including the legendary quote, “I’ve never heard anybody say they’re going to Cleveland on vacation.” Again, not important that the Cavs won the series.
I’m all the way here for Cavs fans showing up at the arena with posters of rings with Kuzma crossed out and LeBron right next to it, and for Kuzma to make an Instagram post of championship banner at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse that reads “LeBron James 2015-16 NBA Champions.”
Cleveland is probably tired of the jokes, but they’re the ones with the classic sports movie about decades of misery, which includes many scenes leaning into their baseball team’s former nickname that was almost as offensive as the logo. At least they’ll always have the LeBron title and basketball beefs that never disappoint.