Former NBA forward Kenyon Martin believes that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James should have taken things further with Houston Rockets head coach Ime Udoka during their exchange on Saturday night.
Udoka and James got into it during the Lakers’ 107-97 win over the Rockets, with Udoka apparently saying the world “b—-” several times, which drew the ire of James.
This angle of the LeBron-Udoka exchange 👀 (via unitedlife4ever/TT) pic.twitter.com/w0edFgn8Tb
— Overtime (@overtime) December 3, 2023
“We all grown men,” James seemingly said. “That b—- word ain’t cool, don’t use it so loosely. Don’t use that word so loosely. Nah, don’t use it so loosely, though. Don’t use it so loosely.”
The incident led to both James and Udoka getting assessed technical fouls in the game. Udoka was ejected since it was his second technical foul assessed during the matchup.
Despite that, Martin believes James should have taken it a step further with the Rockets coach.
"For a coach to have those things to say, I think Bron should've taken it a little further in that moment. You callin' people bitches out here, let's see who your talkin' about, dog?"
Kenyon Martin on LeBron and Ime Udoka pic.twitter.com/1RJsBvTOT3
— Gilbert Arenas (@GilsArenaShow) December 4, 2023
While Martin clearly wanted James to challenge Udoka further, the Lakers superstar made the right decision by not letting Udoka win by causing him to overreact.
James kept his cool enough to stay in the game, and he would have likely regretted things had he got himself thrown out. The Lakers went on to win the game, so James and his teammates were able to get the last laugh at Houston’s expense.
The 38-year-old finished with 16 points, four rebounds and seven assists for Los Angeles while Anthony Davis (27 points) and Austin Reaves (18 points) led the way scoring the basketball.
A four-time NBA champion, James took the high road rather than stooping to Udoka’s level. The Rockets head coach may have felt that he could throw James off – or intimidate him – in the moment, but it didn’t seem to work out that way.
Since the incident, both Rockets wing Dillon Brooks and Lakers head coach Darvin Ham have spoken out about it.
There clearly is some bad blood brewing between the Rockets and Lakers, and the two teams have already played three of their four matchups this season. The final meeting will come in Houston on Jan. 29.
Even though people like Martin will have their opinions on how James handled the situation, it’s hard to argue with the results of James’ decision as the Lakers went on to win the game partially because he kept his cool.