LeBron James’ brutally honest response to being asked about Ricky Rubio’s NBA career following latest Lakers loss

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A dejected LeBron James didn’t seem thrilled to be asked a Ricky Rubio question after the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Lakers by a final score of 127-113 on Friday.

“I’m not really in the mood to answer that question, but I respect Ricky,” James said after being asked about Rubio’s retirement and career. “Congratulations on a hell of a career, and if I don’t seem sincere when you see this video, it’s because we got our a– whooped again, and I apologize. So, it was actually bad timing on the interviewer asking me this question. It’s not me, Ricky, so congratulations.”

James and the Lakers have now dropped four straight games after losing to the Grizzlies. The 39-year-old played 39 minutes in the loss and dropped a team-high 32 points to go along with five rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

The Lakers haven’t picked up a victory since they beat the Charlotte Hornets by 21 points at home late last month.

Rubio announced his retirement from the NBA earlier this week after 12 seasons in the league and multiple with the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. Across 67 total regular season games played with Cleveland, he averaged 9.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 35.7 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from behind the 3-point line.

The point guard is widely regarded as one of the more creative and effective playmakers of his generation, as he had a knack for making flashy passes during his time in the NBA. He averaged an impressive 7.4 assists per game for his career compared to 2.5 turnovers, and he averaged a career-high 9.1 assists per game in 75 games played during the 2016-17 season.

The Cavaliers are navigating the 2023-24 regular season without Rubio relatively well. The team owns a 20-15 record and has won each of its last two games, with both of those wins coming against the Washington Wizards.

The next game on the Cavaliers’ schedule is a home matchup against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Like the Wizards, the Spurs have been one of the worst teams in the NBA so far this season, as they hold the worst record in the Western Conference at 5-29 and have picked up just one win over their past 10 games. San Antonio beat the Portland Trail Blazers by 13 points back on Dec. 28.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.