Tierney: LeBron James "In For A Rude Awakening"

Lakers fans expect titles, Brandon Tierney says, and they won't love LeBron "if he keeps walking away from a fight"

Tiki and Tierney
October 24, 2019 - 10:41 am

It would be easy to dismiss what happened Tuesday night in Los Angeles. It would be easy to argue that the Clippers’ 112-102 win over the Lakers was merely one game, the first of 82, and doesn’t have any bearing on the rest of the season or the power struggle between Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James in Los Angeles.

Brandon Tierney, however, couldn’t disagree more.

“You have to see the ads,” Tierney said on Tiki and Tierney, referring to Leonard’s endorsement deal with New Balance. “The guy says, ‘This is my city. This is my city.’ And then he comes out and punks you on your court.”

Leonard had a game-high 30 points to go with six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in his Clippers debut. James, meanwhile, had 18 points on 7-of-19 shooting with five turnovers.

“LeBron didn’t play well,” Tierney said. “He didn’t play well. He turned the ball over all night. Kawhi was awesome. So the first round, LeBron is on his back and he’s bloodied. I just hope that he realizes he's got to fight back. You think Kobe would do that? Honestly, what would Kobe have done? What would Michael Jordan have done?”

Bryant, Tiki Barber countered, was a lifelong Laker, and every game in L.A. meant something to him. It was personal, and the fans loved him for that.

“He better start taking it a little more personally,” Tierney said of James. “They’re not going to love him if he keeps walking away from a fight. One game as a Clipper, Kawhi already established rules: ‘This is the way it’s going to go down. This is what I projected on TV in my commercials. This is what I projected on the billboards all over L.A. The first time I step on the court, this is the way it’s going down. My rules. Not yours. You’re too old, and you’re too past your prime.’”

James turns 35 in December. If the Lakers don’t win at a high clip this season, fans will not be happy.

“I think LeBron is in for a rude awakening,” Tierney said. “Laker fans expect championships, and when you don’t deliver, they don’t love you at all.”