Jersey burning has become the worst tradition in sports, and it’s strongest hold is in the NBA. Shortly after Tuesday’s blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 draft pick, fans began posting videos and photos of Irving and Thomas jerseys in flames.

Jersey burning is always dumb. If you don’t want to wear the jersey of a player who left your team, donate it. It’s one thing when players sign elsewhere as free agents, as Gordon Hayward did. It’s a bit more understandable when players request a trade, as Kyrie Irving did. But why in the world were Celtics fans burning Isaiah Thomas jerseys, when Thomas had no say in the trade and, if anything, was the one betrayed by the front office?

LeBron James unleashed a Twitter rant on Thursday expressing the ridiculousness of the jersey burning trend, going to bat for Thomas as well as Hayward.

James made a few great points about the hypocrisy of the basketball “business,” although front offices do occasionally come under fire for jettisoning fan favorites.

Although James did not mention Irving in this series of tweets, he stood up for his former teammate with his response to this fan’s jersey-burning fakeout.

James isn’t the only player angered by the trend. Celtics wing Jaylen Brown also tweeted his disappointment when he saw Bostonians were burning Thomas jerseys.

LeBron was the original victim of the jersey burning trend when he left the Cavs for the Heat in 2010. Since then we’ve seen it happen to several players across sports, and even an entire franchise when the Chargers left San Diego for L.A.

Jersey burning was never that funny or interesting, and it’s only gotten worse with age.

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.