FanDuel - WFBC

June 02, 2009

SI Writer: LeBron Snubbed Magic to Send 'Clear Message': When LeBron James left the court after losing game 6 without shaking hands with the Orlando Magic players, and didn't do a press conference afterwards, he was sending a message to Cleveland Cavaliers management, Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated speculates on no evidence at all. "James was putting Ferry on notice that he has no intention of trying to drag this group to a championship again," he writes. "More help had better be on the way next year, King James seemed to be saying, or tell the Knicks to start getting my uniform ready."

posted by rcade to basketball at 06:48 PM - 31 comments

When I spit in your face, I'm really spitting in my boss's face, so it's all OK.

posted by graymatters at 07:27 PM on June 02

He showed why he was a loser in more ways than one.

posted by Doehead at 07:39 PM on June 02

While I don't applaud James for what he did (or didn't do), I understand. If it really was a planned message, it's a pretty good one.

posted by forrestv at 07:43 PM on June 02

If James is mad at Cavs management, wouldn't it be easier to -- crazy outside the box thinking here -- tell them that?

posted by rcade at 08:35 PM on June 02

That's hilarious. He wants to leave an organization that is on the cusp of something big to...THE KNICKS. LOL

posted by NoMich at 09:18 PM on June 02

The only clear message I got from Lebron that night was that he was an assclown.

posted by tommytrump at 10:45 PM on June 02

Why try to create some mystical explanation for LeBron having been a sore loser? If by chance the planets align and the article's assumptions are correct, then LeBron approached the situation like a third grader - by pouting. I'm inclined to believe the former. That article was a waste of a web page.

posted by BoKnows at 12:32 AM on June 03

Here's a waste of a web page, (albeit my favourite): www.something.com

posted by bobfoot at 01:18 AM on June 03

Precisely.

posted by BoKnows at 01:19 AM on June 03

This bit of speculation based upon what is not too different from the May 28th Yao Ming to Cleveland post.

posted by Newbie Walker at 03:03 AM on June 03

The interesting question isn't why Lebron did it. The interesting question is why he has gotten only a "smattering of grief" for acting like a sore loser. Sending Mo Williams to talk to the media afterward was just the icing on the cake. He didn't even get fined for not being available to the media either.

posted by bperk at 09:53 AM on June 03

That's hilarious. He wants to leave an organization that is on the cusp of something big to...THE KNICKS. LOL

The Cavs - James = The Knicks... or worse.

Why should Lebron get more than a smattering of grief? I sure don't care if my team shakes the other's hand after a game, if he was upset and wanted to leave then let him go. If people want to get fired up about it that's fine, but I don't see a problem.

posted by tron7 at 10:45 AM on June 03

tron7 - mainly because the league has set a precedent by fining players and coached for not making themselves available to the media after games. Stern's refusal to fine James only feeds the fire of those that complain about special treatment for star players in the NBA.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:19 AM on June 03

He should have gotten a fine. Though, as a fan, I don't really mind that he didn't show.

It's a seperate subject but interviews and press conferences with players from the losing team aren't very enjoyable for me. You get to see the guy at his absolute lowest and then you make him talk about how he got to his absolute lowest and what he could have or should have done to avoid it. Seems cruel.

posted by tron7 at 11:41 AM on June 03

I think it is a total show of poor class. Just think about all the teams they beat. What would have been made of the Pistons not shaking his hand after they lost. What if Kobe hadn't shaken hands with Paul Pierce, KG, and Ray after the finals last year. They would still be talking about it and it would be a highlight reel of how not to be after loosing.

But, for some strange reason they seem to treat "King James" as if he really were some sort of royalty. Forget that they had all these little commercials with the puppet Lebron and Kobe figures... forget that he was supposed to be the MVP of the league... The new "fresh" face of the league... well, maybe a bit of a stretch on new...

But, you get the point. Any other human being that displayed such a classless act would have been crucified on all the sports talk shows, Sportscenter, and any paper, magazine, etc.... The days of the crybaby, treated by different standards players is now showing up on the grandest of stages. What a total embarrasment.

posted by Mickster at 12:28 PM on June 03

The only clear message I got from Lebron that night was that he was an assclown.

That was out of character for LeBron. He's got a good rep for treating people well and being accessible to fans and the media. I don't think one bad night should put him in the assclown category.

forget that he was supposed to be the MVP of the league...

He is the MVP.

posted by rcade at 12:47 PM on June 03

That was out of character for LeBron. He's got a good rep for treating people well and being accessible to fans and the media. I don't think one bad night should put him in the assclown category.

Agreed. Way too much attention has been given to an emotional decision that really didn't affect anyone. I applaud passion, in any form.

Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser.

posted by smithnyiu at 01:20 PM on June 03

...the league has set a precedent by fining players and coached for not making themselves available to the media after games. Stern's refusal to fine James only feeds the fire of those that complain about special treatment for star players in the NBA.

Not to excuse what LeBron did but LeBron has shown a tendacy of being availiable for pretty much any media related outlets. I agree that not going up to the Magic players after the Cavs lost was unsportsman-like but LeBron isn't known for doing this on a regular which is why David Stern did not feel as if he should fine him.

He is the MVP.

Thanks rcade, I was thinking the exact same thing.

posted by BornIcon at 01:20 PM on June 03

Any other human being that displayed such a classless act would have been crucified on all the sports talk shows, Sportscenter, and any paper, magazine, etc.

This is ridiculous. This is only a story because it is LeBron James. Any other star in the league would be getting a similar treatment or better by the media, and any other non-star in the league would not even be a story, because no one would miss them. The only reason that it is a big deal to anyone is because LeBron James is the face of the league.

Now, if the league has set a precedent for fining players who don't show up to post-game pressers, then they should levy a fine here, too.

posted by bender at 01:28 PM on June 03

Why try to create some mystical explanation for LeBron having been a sore loser?

Exactly. At least if you're going to make up theories, let's make up one that puts him in a fairer light (like maybe he didn't show up to the press conference because he didn't want to have to answer questions about why his supporting cast sucks and didn't want to throw his teammates under the bus.) I tend to believe the more simple answer...he's a sore loser.

I applaud passion, in any form.

There's plenty of people with passion who have no business being applauded...the guy who took out the abortion doctor was swelling with passion.

Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser.

What a HORRIBLE philosophy of life. (never mind its inaccuracy...there's been plenty of "winners" that knew what it was like to graciously lose every once in awhile)

posted by bdaddy at 02:10 PM on June 03

I love your passion bdaddy.

posted by smithnyiu at 02:40 PM on June 03

Any other star in the league would be getting a similar treatment or better by the media, and any other non-star in the league would not even be a story, because no one would miss them. The only reason that it is a big deal to anyone is because LeBron James is the face of the league.

I'm sorry, but this is total crap. Take the other biggest star in the league, Kobe Bryant, who is the ARod of basketball. He gets criticized for everything. If the Lakers had a series like the Cavs just did, Bryant would be criticized for not making his teammates better, for being a ballhog, and for never being able to win without Shaq. Kobe Bryant is held to a ridiculously high standard. Maybe that's okay for the best player in the league. But, when another player of Kobe's caliber gets a complete bye for acting like an ass, the hypocrisy is a little too much for me.

posted by bperk at 06:08 PM on June 03

I haven't had time to read all of the post on this one, but I can remember when the Giants upset the Pats in the Super Bowl, Belicheck stormed in the locker room before the clock even ticked to zero. I can't remember that getting as much attention as L. James. Baseball players never shake hands like we used to do when I grew up. I don't think it is a big deal personally.

But, when another player of Kobe's caliber gets a complete bye for acting like an ass, the hypocrisy is a little too much for me.

James in no way got a pass for acting like an ass. This story is everywhere. He has definatly took a lot of heat for this. I understand that he obligated to speak to the press, but i don't see the problem.

posted by sgtcookzane at 08:39 PM on June 03

Articles like this are par for the course regarding the way the media repeatedly tries to confuse the hell out of fans and manufacture a LBJ-NY connection leading up to 2010. No merit at all, just speculation.

And playing in NY isn't going to change the fact that LeBron James has no class and is a spoiled child. What is one supposed to expect from a man who tips $10 on an $800 dinner check, or tells him mom to "sit your ass down" in front of the millions of people?

What really bothers me is my continued naivete in thinking that David Stern could finally be anything other than spineless and gutless. Oh well.

posted by apthomason at 02:40 AM on June 04

I'm sorry, but this is total crap. Take the other biggest star in the league, Kobe Bryant, who is the ARod of basketball. He gets criticized for everything. If the Lakers had a series like the Cavs just did, Bryant would be criticized for not making his teammates better, for being a ballhog, and for never being able to win without Shaq. Kobe Bryant is held to a ridiculously high standard. Maybe that's okay for the best player in the league. But, when another player of Kobe's caliber gets a complete bye for acting like an ass, the hypocrisy is a little too much for me.

What's crap? You're making the same point I was. The only pass that James has gotten so far is that he hasn't been fined for not showing up for the press. I was responding to a post saying that other players in the league would be held to a higher standard than LeBron. My point was that LeBron (and Kobe, and other stars) are the ones people in the media are going to make a big fuss over for something like this. For all I know, Anderson Varejao didn't shake hands after the game either, but no one is going to make a big deal about that, nor should they.

posted by bender at 08:21 AM on June 04

Now, if the league has set a precedent for fining players who don't show up to post-game pressers, then they should levy a fine here, too.

The NBA "has set a precedent for fining players who don't show up to post-game pressers" which is why people were surprised when David Stern didn't fine LeBron. Stern's explanation about why he didn't fine LeBron was indeed a valid reason and if LeBron ever does it again, I'm sure that the Commish will hand out a fine.

And playing in NY isn't going to change the fact that LeBron James has no class and is a spoiled child

Decided to take it a step forward? So LeBron has "no class" and is now a "spoiled child"? Com'on now! That's a bit harsh there, don't you think? I agree that LeBron should have gone up to the Magic players after they were eliminated from the playoffs but to say that LeBron has "no class" and is a "spoiled child" is a stretch considering he has been nothing but gracious when asked to do interviews and/or autographs. It would have been simple to shake those guys hands but just because LeBron chose not to doesn't make him an evil individual, it just shows us all that he is still human and that his emotions got the better of him at that moment in front of millions of fans across the globe.

posted by BornIcon at 08:34 AM on June 04

My point was that LeBron (and Kobe, and other stars) are the ones people in the media are going to make a big fuss over for something like this.

My point, bender, where I disagreed with you is that I think Kobe would have been crucified for this same behavior, but LeBron gets articles like this and there are lots of no-big-deal comments flying around. No way would Kobe have received this sort of deference.

posted by bperk at 09:55 AM on June 04

LeBron gets articles like this and there are lots of no-big-deal comments flying around. No way would Kobe have received this sort of deference

I haven't really seen "no-big-deal comments flying around", just the opposite of that actually. Kobe would have gotten the same treatment as LeBron, actually maybe even more so considering that Kobe has been in the league alot longer and should know better than to do something like that. I get why people compare LeBron to Kobe as for how they play the game but I don't get why people keep bringing Kobe into this conversation considering that this is a LeBron issue.

posted by BornIcon at 10:02 AM on June 04

BornIcon, you're right - that may have been a tad harsh. By "spoiled child" I wasn't referring specifically to his relationship with the media; I meant it the context that he is "royalty" and gets to do pretty much whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And when I said James has no class, I was mostly referring to his tipping practices. Anyone - especially a person of his stature - who treats waitstaff like that has zero class in my book.

I don't think LBJ is evil and I agree that he is a super-competitive human being who hates to lose and his emotions got the better of him. Perfectly understandable. Although it would have been nice to see him act like a man after Game 6, I'm not surprised by what he did and I don't think anyone else should be, either. Behavior aside, I think LeBron James will go down as the greatest to ever lace 'em up.

As for the article, I agree with BoKnows that it was a waste of a web page.

posted by apthomason at 02:00 PM on June 04

Agreed- LeBron should have acted like a man after Game 6 but unlike you, I am surprised by his actions. LeBron hasn't done much in his career to suffer any setbacks except for this and this will all blow over eventually since it's really not that big of a deal. It's not a matter of life or death for these guys to shake hands after a game but it is considered sportsman-like especially with LeBron & Dwight Howard being on opposite sides of the playoffs but are former teammates on the Redeem Team that won the Olympic medal in 2008.

As for LeBron's tipping habits, what does that really have to do with him not shaking anyone's hand after the Cavs lost? Is it an issue if he jaywalks as well? Those things really have much ado about nothing.

posted by BornIcon at 02:58 PM on June 04

I will say first and foremost that I truly like Lebron. I think he has freakish talent and for a guy his size to be able to handle the ball, shoot three's and drive to the bucket from one end of the court to the other reminds me of Magic Johnson. I have even seen him with a couple of the no-look passes. He is an incredible talent and at the time of my post - now has been fined.

Stern issued a $25,000 fine and that is nothing to someone that makes the coin they do, but it was the right thing to do. The only point of the entire conversation is that he acted "inappropriately" in the grandest of stages. Could you imagine last year when the Celtics beat LA (never gets old saying that either) if Kobe would have just walked off and not given hand shakes to the opposing team? It would have been a media nightmare for Kobe and a long-term display of how not to act when you loose.

My point is that if Lebron wants to make a point to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his team, his management, the coach.... whatever the point was he could have done so without doing what he did. There are many ways to make a point. The issue of SuperBowl and said "Hoodie" are no more dispicable.

Lebron will someday (in my opinion) probably make it to the finals and probably win one or two. But, hopefully that type of behavior will never happen again.

posted by Mickster at 03:20 PM on June 05

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.