LeBron James has not demanded a trade out of Los Angeles, but a newly verified Twitter account masquerading as the Lakers star tricked people into thinking so.
The hoax was a direct result of Elon Musk’s $8 blue check-mark launch, The NY Post reports.
An account with the handle “@kIngjamez” was responsible for the plot
“I am officially requesting a trade,” it tweeted. “Thank you #LakersNation for all the support through the years. Onto bigger and better things! #ThekidfromAKRON #ImComingHome.”
James’ real account handle is @KingJames, and his most recent tweet is an ad for a video game.
The slight change in spelling made the impostor account seem legitimate to many who did not read the handle or verification explanation carefully.
Another newly verified account pretended to be ESPN insider Adam Schefter, and claimed that Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels had been fired.
The account has since been suspended, but contained the same profile picture as Schefter’s real account.
Those accounts, garnering thousands of retweets before being suspended by Twitter, were not close to being one-offs.
An account purporting to be free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman claimed he’d be sticking with the Yankees for three more years.
One person paid $8 to appear to be Oilers superstar Connor McDavid and then claimed he was traded to the Islanders. Both accounts were also suspended.
As new Twitter CEO, Musk has defended his decision to sell verification checks as a way for the company to make money.
NBA legend reignites MJ feud
Meanwhile, the decades-old NBA beef between Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan lives on.
The Pistons legend made it clear that he isn’t backing down from his longstanding feud with the Bulls icon without an apology while discussing Jordan’s ESPN docuseries, “The Last Dance.”
On Tuesday, Thomas took to Twitter to share comments he made to the Greek NBA rights holder COSMOTE TV during the Abu Dhabi NBA games last month, when he was asked about how his relationship with Jordan was portrayed in the documentary.
“When I was watching ‘The Last Dance,’ I’m sitting there and I’m watching it with my family and I’m thinking everything is good,” he said, per Euro Hoops. “And then this guy comes on television and he says that he hates me and then he calls me an a–hole.
“And then I proceed to watch a whole documentary about him being an a–hole. I’m like wait a minute, time out. Until I get a public apology, this beef is gonna go on for a long, long time, ’cause I’m from the west side of Chicago.”
In “The Last Dance,” which premiered in April 2020, one of the storylines depicts the rivalry between Thomas’ Pistons and Jordan’s Bulls in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Thomas also appears in the series.
Jordan, in the documentary, called Thomas an “a–hole” while reflecting on the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals when the Bulls swept the Pistons — and in the final game of that series, Pistons players, including Thomas, infamously walked off the court without shaking hands while there was still time on the clock.
Jordan said Thomas’ explanation for walking off before the buzzer sounded like “bulls–t” during the documentary.
“Whatever he says now, you know it wasn’t his true actions then,” he said. “He has time enough to think about it, or the reaction of the public has kind of changed his perspective of it. You can show me anything you want, there is no way you can convince me that he wasn’t an a–hole.”
It was long believed that Jordan then kept Thomas from playing on the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, giving Rod Thorn — the GM of the team — a him-or-me ultimatum. Jordan denied that was the case in the documentary.
This isn’t the first time Thomas has discussed his feud with Jordan.
In July, Thomas took to Twitter to call out a story by The Inquisitr explaining the origins of his rivalry with Jordan — and the longstanding theory that the Pistons legend froze him out of his first NBA All-Star game in 1985.
This article originally appeared in the NY Post and was republished with permission.
Originally published as LeBron James trade-demand hoax is start of Twitter check-mark chaos