Throwing Rocks At The Throne…Again

The King In Defeat

We were all witnesses; but he’s done this before. November ’06 in a game against the Atlanta Hawks, LeBron James walked off the floor as the Hawks were dribbling out the clock, wrapping up a regular season win against the Cavs. Last year in the playoffs against the Boston Celtics, he walked off the court without acknowledging or congratulating any of the Celtics players after they eliminated them in the Eastern Conference Semis. And then this past Saturday after being eliminated by the Orlando Magic, he was the first player in uniform to walk off the floor without congratulating any of the Magic players, including fellow Olympian Dwight Howard. This is what you call a pattern of behavior.

As the MVP of the greatest professional sports league in the world, you have a responsibility to behave graciously in victory and in defeat. If you can shake hands and hug the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks after you swept them out of the playoffs, then you’d most certainly better show the same kind of grace in defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic. Sending a text message to Dwight Howard the next day doesn’t count for anything. And then you have this quote:

“It’s hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them. I’m a winner. It’s not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you’re not going to congratulate them. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a competitor. That’s what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand.”

If he were just in a street fight then I’d certainly understand his point. But this is basketball. This is professional sports. It’s lights, camera, action and all eyes are on you. But this is the fault of those who are so in love with LeBron James. This is what happens when you crown someone the king before they’ve done anything to deserve the the throne. This is what happens when athletes start believing their own hype. This is what happens when you forget that LeBron James is still a kid. He probably used to take his ball home when he lost on the playground knowing there wasn’t another one around to play with. Calling him a prima dona would be an understatement.

The way the Cavs cruised in the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs, I guess they thought that teams were going to just lay down when they came in the gym. They started to walk around with an entitlement complex. Like the championship was already theirs. But you still have to play the games and the Cleveland Cavaliers got exposed, it’s just that simple. They were old, slow, and they just didn’t match up well with the Magic. It doesn’t matter what happens in the regular season, the playoffs are totally different. Adjustments are what make playoff basketball so intense and the Cavs were never able to adjust to what the Magic were doing. So it doesn’t make sense to get mad and pout, that’s just basketball. Sure it sucks to lose, but you don’t go out like that. Especially not as the leader of your team and the new face of the NBA. They still show clips of LeBron and Tim Duncan talking in the hallway after the Spurs swept them out of the Finals; so LeBron saying it doesn’t make sense to congratulate someone after they just beat him is nonsense.

Michael Jordan congratulated and shook hands with the Pistons every time they knocked the Bulls out of the playoffs. I’m sure he didn’t want to do it, I know that it hurt him to do it, but he did. That’s why to this day people are still talking about the way the Pistons walked off the court with time still remaining on the clock as the Bulls finally beat them to advance to the NBA Finals. No class. Magic Johnson after losing to the Pistons in the Finals walked off the court without congratulating anyone, but he made his way into their locker room and shook hands and congratulated Detroit on the win. That showed real class right there. LeBron James just needs to grow up and hopefully this experience and the negative backlash from it will help him do just that. No matter how good you are and no matter how good you think your team may be, the NBA championship isn’t promised to anyone. All you can do is work hard, continue to make your team better and go out and give 110% each and every night. And if you do all that and you still don’t win, congratulating the team that beat you and giving handshakes isn’t asking too much. Not even for a “King”.


2 Responses

  1. right on point.

  2. Yeah i definately agree with you on this one…..

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