Long story short, he won’t be taking her advice.
“I will not just shut up and dribble because I mean too much to my two boys here, their best friend right here, my daughter that’s at home and my wife and my family,” James said. “And all these other kids who look up to me for inspiration and try to find a way out. The best thing she did was create more awareness. I appreciate her for even giving me even more awareness. For me to sit up here, at the greatest weekend, NBA All-Star weekend, and I get to sit up here and talk about social justice, equality, and why a woman on a certain network decided to tell me to “shut up and dribble.” So, thank you, whatever her name is, don’t even know her name.”
Just spitballing here, but these don’t seem like the words of a man considering taking Ingraham up on her offer to appear on-set and dive into the issues.
James said he initially laughed when informed of Ingraham’s comments, but actually seeing the video caused him to take a more serious approach. He declined to answer directly when asked if the sentiment was racist.
“I mean, listen, race is a part of our country, we know that,” he said. “I think the engine that she sits behind doesn’t have a great rap sheet when it comes to race in our country, and things of that nature. There’s been many people that’s not African American that spoke upon the same issues I spoke upon, and they didn’t say anything to them. You can look at it as being racist or you can look at it as saying racial tension, which we already know that. That goes without saying. I don’t think we’re sitting here saying, ‘Oh, she’s racist.’ Or, ‘That’s racial tension. I’m surprised.’
Something tells me we’ve heard the last from James on this back-and-forth. Something also tells me we haven’t heard the last from his sparring partner.