Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets in game one of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena. Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs two weeks ago.

But for some reason, the four-time NBA champion appeared to be top of mind for Reggie Miller on Sunday night.

While on the call for TNT’s broadcast of the Western Conference Semifinals Game 4 matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets, the Hall of Fame shooting guard praised Anthony Edwards for taking responsibility for his team’s Game 3 defeat. And while doing so, Miller curiously seemed to take a not-so-subtle dig at James, albeit without mentioning him by name.

“We’ve got certain guys with status in our game that are on a lot of people’s Mount Rushmore that like to deflect and point fingers at others,” Miller said. “Here’s a 22-year-old saying, ‘This is on me. It’s my fault.'”

It didn’t take long for many to connect the dots regarding who Miller was most likely referencing.

For one, while there are many great all-time players in the NBA today, James is arguably the only one whose legacy is considered Mount Rushmore-worthy. Kevin Durant might also associated with blaming others, but very few people — if any — are putting him next to the likes of Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell.

For another, James’ propensity for pointing his finger at others has been in the news in recent weeks after the Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham. In a segment on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption following the firing, Michael Wilbon took aim at the 20-time All-Star, specifically referencing his legacy in regards to Ham’s firing.

“If you want to be the GOAT, you want to tell everybody you’re the greatest player of all time, you want to have it on podcasts, then take accountability like one. Do that!” Wilbon said of James. “If you’re the GOAT, you do that. You don’t blame this cryptically or backhandedly on Darvin Ham. I don’t want to hear from anybody in a Laker uniform that the primary problem was Darvin Ham.”

Miller might have thought he left himself some plausible deniability by not naming the Akron native, but the only problem is that there’s nobody else who matches the criteria he referenced. Not one to typically ignore criticism, it will be interesting to see if — and how — James responds.

[Awful Announcing on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.