On Wednesday, NBA fans were shocked after a verified Twitter account claiming to be LeBron James requested for a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers. The four-time NBA champion seemed to be demanding a move back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As it turned out, it was not James after all, who was oblivious to the furore over his Lakers future. It was an internet troll that took advantage of Elon Musk's latest decision to allow users to purchase the verified "blue tick" for $8 a month.

The bird app's new subscription feature saw trolls running wild on Twitter, with LeBron James among a number of high profile personalities that were targeted for impersonation. Major League Baseball pitcher Aroldis Chapman and NHL center Connor McDavid were also targeted.

James, according to the fake @K1NGJamez, wrote: "I am officially requesting a trade. "Thank you #LakersNation for all the support through the years. 💯 Onto bigger and better things! 👑 #ThekidfromAKRON #ImComingHome."

After the initial shock, it became clear that it was a fake trade request, as James' official handle's last tweet was the Lakers star promoting a video game. Twitter's decision to hand out verification badges without proper vetting is expected to see further such incidents despite their strict account termination rules.

While the furore over James' fake trade was in full swing, the Lakers were preparing for their 11th game of the season against cross town rivals Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. The purple and gold have had a difficult start, going 2-8 in their first ten games.

James has been struggling with a foot injury, which saw him miss their loss against the Utah Jazz earlier in the week. The four-time NBA Finals MVP is expected to return for the Clippers encounter, but admitted that prolonged rest is the only solution for his ongoing injury issue.

The 37-year-old, who is in his 20th season in the NBA, has no plans of slowing down. James wants to continue pushing his limits, and try to step up his level as the season progresses. He is currently averaging 24.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 7.1 assists in nine games.

"No matter the mileage or the years or the games or whatever the case may be, which I've been on the floor. So, I try to push the limit and even try to excel the limit when it comes to this game and much I can continue to contribute at a high level," James said, as quoted on Marca.

LeBron James
LeBron James Michelle Farsi/Getty Images