It would have been one of the most watched NBA Finals in the history of the playoffs. Kobe vs. Lebron. Two men whom the media have cautiously compared to His Airness. But fate was not kind to King James, as the Orlando Magic pulled off the major upset against the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals. I couldn’t help but be surprised with Lebron’s reaction after Game 6. He promptly walked off the court, without shaking hands with any of the Magic players or coaching staff, and went off without the postgame interviews with the media. Now, if Lebron left early to avoid the annoying Jim Gray, then I can understand. No one likes being asked, “How do you feel that you should have won the Eastern Conference Finals and didn’t? Did you screw up the Cavs chances? Do you feel like you failed your team? What does it feel like to suck?” And no doubt, he was hurting from the loss. But should Lebron have stayed after the game to congratulate the Magic for their surprising victory? Lebron sure didn’t think so. “Its hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them. I’m a winner. I’m 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. Thats what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand” said Lebron.
Perhaps Lebron James has never watched a hockey game? After two players pummel each other until noses bleed on the ice, they still can shake each other’s hand when the game is over to show good sportsmanship. For someone who was annointed to be the next greatest NBA player, I think it was a severe blunder for Lebron to walk off. A huge loss stings, but for the heart of the game, a man like Lebron should know better. Even several of the Magic players were surprised with Lebron’s silence. Maybe before the game he watched the video of the 1991 playoff series the Bulls won against the bad boys of Detroit. If you all remember, Isaiah Thomas led the starters off the court without conceding to MJ and the Bulls. It would forever be tatooed in our minds as a cowardly act (at least I think so). Maybe Lebron had a sour batch of Skyline Chili before the game.
I’m not trying to judge the guy, but simply wonder if Lebron acted out of character. I have a feeling that he won’t make the same mistake again, lest King James desires to stay the media’s darling. One thing is for sure, he should avoid learning his manners from John McEnroe!