LeBron James Keeps Silent on Cryptic Tweet and Player Option Decision: Fans Left Wondering About the Meaning

In his first interview since cryptically tweeting an hourglass emoji after the Lakers’ 138-122 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, LeBron James declined to explain the meaning behind his message.

Jan 19, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Brooklyn Nets in the first half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“No,” James said when asked if he’d like to clarify his tweet.

James, who has a $51.4 million player option with the Lakers for the 2024-25 season, was then asked if he’s thought about if he’s going to exercise that option to remain with the Lakers next season.

“No,” James said while addressing the media at the Lakers’ shootaround at Nike’s New York headquarters.


The Lakers play the Knicks on the fifth game of their six-game Grammy-induced road trip on Saturday night. James, who’s listed as questionable, said he hopes to play.

“Physically? I mean, I’ve been better,” James said. “But I’ve been a lot worse. But hoping to be able to go out and contribute tonight, help our team win the ball game, obviously.”

The Lakers are coming off perhaps their best win of the season, beating the league-leading Boston Celtics in Boston without James and Anthony Davis. James, who was active on the sidelines during the game encouraging and coaching his teammates up, complimented his teammates’ performance in his absence.

“I’m very proud of our efforts in Boston,” James said. “Those guys stepped up and played exceptional basketball. Beautiful to see. Beautiful to watch.”

However, the Lakers suffered a considerable blow in the stunning victory, losing Jarred Vanderbilt in the first half to a right foot injury.

Vanderbilt is expected to miss a minimum of several weeks, team sources not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to The Athletic. The Lakers are awaiting more evaluation and testing that will determine Vanderbilt’s timetable to return.

“Well, honestly, obviously, we took a big hit with Vando last game,” James said. “Our team has always been constructed around how healthy we can be and how much chemistry we can put on the floor. So, obviously, that’s a big-time hit, big-time blow for us. But guys have to pick it up in his absence.

“If we can play some good basketball, string a couple wins together, and not be so Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on any given night, then we’ll be OK.”

Last season, James said during the All-Star Weekend that the Lakers’ upcoming 23 games were the “most important regular-season games” of his career.

“I want to make a push to make the playoffs,” James said then.

The Lakers finished the season 16-7, earning the No. 7 seed and advancing to the Western Conference finals, where they were swept by the eventual champion Denver Nuggets.

Is James aiming for a similar turnaround down the stretch of this season?

“I really haven’t thought about it, to be honest,” James said. “Just taking every day and every game and seeing ways we can get better. How we continue to be the team that we want to be going down the stretch. So I haven’t really thought about it.”

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