LeBron James pulled off the one-handed pump fake, as well as a vintage MJ turnaround fadeaway as the Cavs beat the Bulls Monday.
Yeah, that tongue is probably not an accident either. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James and Michael Jordan have been ceaselessly compared ever since LeBron came into the league 14 years ago (!!!), and not only is Cleveland's savior extremely aware of it, he wants it all. He wants to match and surpass MJ's legacy.
LeBron is also a student of the game, both from an X's-and-O's standpoint as well as a historical standpoint. So there is absolutely no chance in hell that he went into Chicago and broke out these moves without fully knowing exactly what he was doing:
Not. A. Chance.
To be fair, an entire generation spent their childhoods trying to perfect that turnaround fadeaway. Short of sticking his tongue out while switching the ball from his right hand to his left while evading a Laker, though, that palmed pump fake is a huge tell that LeBron was giving a Chicago a taste of what it's been missing for 15 years—that's right, the year before LeBron came into the Association. And he went ahead and did the tongue thing, anyway.
The Cavs beat the Bulls 113-91 and LeBron finished with… 23 points.