LeBron James appears to clap back at Michael Malone over retirement jab

Earlier this week, Malone mocked James for floating the potential of retirement immediately after the Western Conference Finals

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Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone (L) and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James (R).

Michael Malone cracked a joke at LeBron James' expense earlier this week.

But James seemingly didn't find it very funny.

The Los Angeles Lakers star appeared to respond to the Denver Nuggets coach's retirement barb in an Instagram post on Friday.

"In Europe for the last past few weeks minding my business and I hear I'm on your mind that much huh??? I mean I guess I can see why," James wrote as the caption of the post. "But Wave the flag on these lames!! Please make being player cool again cause the lame machine is at an all-time high. Enjoy your light but just know I'm the SUN. I stay on forever!"

During an appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets championship-winning coach took a jab at James.

"Speaking of the Lakers, I just want you guys to know, this is breaking news, I'm thinking about retiring," Malone quipped. "So don't tell anybody."

Malone was, of course, mocking James for floating the potential of retirement immediately following the Nuggets' sweep of the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. Some criticized James for taking attention away from Denver clinching its first Finals appearance by surprisingly putting his playing career in doubt. And it seems Malone, who was outspoken about the media's coverage of the Lakers during the conference finals, may have shared similar feelings.

The first Nuggets-Lakers game of the 2023-24 NBA season was already going to be must-see TV. But this James-Malone beef adds yet another level of intrigue to the long as neither actually retires.

The Denver Nuggets won the NBA championship for the first time in franchise history, topping the Miami Heat in five games.
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