Horrifying and detailed LeBron James death threat shared on Instagram

LeBron James, #23, Los Angeles Lakers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
LeBron James, #23, Los Angeles Lakers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

LeBron James‘ stature brings both adulation and hate. Last night we saw the darker side of his life as a public figure.

Living a life in the public eye has always brought positives and negatives for celebrities and athletes. But the modern era and the advent of social media has broken down barriers, making the rich and famous more accessible. It brings fans closer but it also lets the critics and malcontents put their complaints into the world.

LeBron James has received more than his share of digital hate over the years and it’s hard to imagine that somewhere in there weren’t a few idle threats of violence. But the threat that surfaced last night contained a specificity that certainly made it seem more than idle.

The original Instagram post, which has since been deleted but was shared on Twitter by another user, included a picture of a weapon, a date, a location and a threat to ‘shoot @KingJames in the head during a timeout.’

The account later stated that the initial post was a joke and even left a message for LeBron apologizing if he felt threatened.

Nothing about that is a joke and I can’t imagine how any reasonable person wouldn’t feel threatened by the first post.

Are the police investigating the death threat against LeBron James?

There hasn’t been any word from police, LeBron or the Lakers about the threat but it should absolutely be taken seriously. At the very least it’s a significant violation of Instagram’s terms of service and the account should be taken down. The criminality of the threat would likely depend on the jurisdiction in which it was made and in many statutes, prosecutors need to prove the intent of the person making the threat. Regardless of the outcome, police officers should be having a conversation with that person today.

light. THE WHITEBOARD. Subscribe to our NBA daily email newsletter