National Basketball Association
LeBron Retires 'Zero Dark Thirty-23'
National Basketball Association

LeBron Retires 'Zero Dark Thirty-23'

Updated Jul. 30, 2020 11:54 a.m. ET

In a season as unorthodox as they come, LeBron James has chosen to abandon one of his most well-known traditions when the NBA playoffs begin on Aug. 17: "Zero Dark Thirty-23" mode is no more. But will that decision matter for The King?

During postseason runs for the last several years, LeBron would avoid all social media in an effort to focus on the playoffs.

However, with all that is going on in the world, and with NBA players being sequestered in the Orlando bubble, James will continue to rely on social media as a means to stay in touch with his family, in addition to staying updating on the social justice issues facing America. 

Shannon Sharpe supports James' new approach, saying that LeBron is doing the right thing by putting an end to his cell-phone blackout.


"He just can't go three months and say, 'Ok guys, I'm gone to the wilderness!' ... LeBron can't do that ... We understand that this is a very unique situation. LeBron is at the magic kingdom. His family is not there. LeBron cannot just go 'Zero Dark Thirty' and have no communication with his family. But do I believe it's gonna impact the way LeBron James plays? No."

After LeBron began to employ 'Zero Dark Thirty' mode back in 2013, he made it to six consecutive NBA Finals, adding to the two straight before he tried the move. 

However, James' teams have lost in four of those six Finals appearances, going 12-22 in 34 Finals games during that span. 

Yet LeBron faced off against stacked Spurs and Warriors teams, so his social media strategy might not have been the most relevant factor at play. What does matter for this season is that LeBron's top teammates are healthy and ready for the sprint to this NBA championship.

On that front, the Lakers got some good news on Wednesday. After it appeared Anthony Davis might miss Thursday's opener with an eye injury, Davis told reporters he plans to play in the Lakers' game against the Clippers.

Davis was poked in the right eye during a scrimmage against the Orlando Magic on Saturday, and he sat out Tuesday's practice.

However, he was back on the floor for the Lakers on Wednesday and seemed to be in good spirits.

And he also came equipped with a new look.

With Davis safely in the fold, the Lakers seem to be fully prepared for the NBA restart. 

LeBron has taken two franchises to the Finals in his career. He'll look to take a third beginning Thursday. 

The only difference is in addition to his teammates, he'll also have his phone by his side.


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