One of the more enjoyable and inconsequential trends in NBA culture that has gotten more popular over the last decade is the close examination of the players' pregame outfits. It is entirely harmless and provides great content everyday.
LeBron James was at the center of attention last night because he is LeBron James and also because he showed up to Staples Center (it isn't Crypto Arena until Christmas) whilst holding a cigar. He may have been smoking that cigar, but wisely did not do that while the cameras were on him.
A few hours later, he would take the court with the Los Angeles Lakers. They would go on to lose badly to the Phoenix Suns, 108-90. LeBron complained afterwards that his team isn't healthy enough to compete with the reigning Western Conference champs. He dropped 34 points and seven rebounds in the losing effort.
That is a correct observation, although it is not the sole reason for the Lakers' struggles this year. But whether or not LeBron is right has no bearing on the truth of the matter here-- you just can't show up to a game with a cigar in your hand and lose.
You just can't! Sure, LeBron probably did all he could considering he went 13-of-19 from the floor and his assist tally would've been far higher than two if his teammates could shoot at an even below-average rate. But walking up to a game with a cigar in hand is a power move. One that dares an opponent to stop him, with the implication that nobody can.
Yet the Suns did just that. Despite the mental warfare being waged with the cigar. A tough look for LeBron James.