The Oklahoman (Sunday)

LeBron James rejects Zlatan's criticism of activist athletes

- Wire reports

LeBron James responded to Zlatan Ibrahimovi­c's criticism of his political activism with a promise that he will never just shut up and dribble.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar also pointed out that Ibrahimovi­c clearly didn't feel the same way about spotlighti­ng social injustices when the soccer great called out racism in his native Sweden just three years ago.

The AC Milan striker and former LA Galaxy star criticized James and other socially conscious athletes Thursday in an interview with Discovery Plus. Ibrahimovi­c called it “a mistake” for James and other athletes to get involved in political causes, saying they should "just do what you do best, because it doesn't look good.”

James responded forcefully to Ibrahimovi­c's stance after the Lakers' 102-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

“I would never shut up about things that are wrong,” said James, who had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. "I'll use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that's going on around this country and around the world. There's no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is.”

Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, while James added 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocked shots as the defending NBA champions avoided their longest losing streak since March 2019.

WARRIORS 130, HORNETS 121: Draymond Green delivered with a triple-double of a career-high 19 assists, 12 rebounds and 11 points to help Golden State to their first three-game winning streak of the season with a victory against the Hornets on Friday night.

CLIPPERS 119, GRIZZLIES

99: Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points, Lou Williams added 17 and Los Angeles beat Memphis on Friday night to split a two-game series. Terance Mann, Nicolas Batum and Paul George each had 13 points for the Clippers.

KINGS 110, PISTONS 107:

De'Aaron Fox scored 27 points and Sacramento snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 110-107 victory over Detroit on Friday night. Sacramento blew a 17-point first-quarter lead, then rallied from an eight-point deficit in the final quarter.

CELTICS 118, PACERS 112: Kemba Walker made two late free throws and scored a season-high 32 points to help Boston snap a three-game losing streak with a win over Indiana on Friday night. Daniel Theis added 17 points and Jaylen Brown finished with 15.

HEAT 124, JAZZ 116: Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 33 points, reserve Goran Dragic tied his season-best with 26 and Miami beat Utah on Friday night — handing the NBA-leading Jazz (26-7) just their third loss in their last 25 games.

SUNS 106, BULLS 97: Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton each scored 22 points and Phoenix rallied to beat Chicago, on Friday night. Chris Paul, who'll join Booker at the All-Star Game, added 14 points, 15 assists and six rebounds.

RAPTORS 122, ROCKETS 111: Kyle Lowry had a triple-double — 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — in a victory over Houston.

 ?? [AP PHOTO/MARK J. TERRILL] ?? Lakers forward LeBron James (23) takes a shot against Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) during the first half of a game Friday in Los Angeles.
[AP PHOTO/MARK J. TERRILL] Lakers forward LeBron James (23) takes a shot against Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) during the first half of a game Friday in Los Angeles.

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