Man Up Lebron..Shake Hands..Congratulate Opponent..Don't Add Fuel To Fire - Robert Littal Presents The Infamous BlackSportsOnline

Man Up Lebron..Shake Hands..Congratulate Opponent..Don't Add Fuel To Fire

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Obviously didn't Lebron didn't read my "Open Letter" to him a couple of weeks ago about him being a "drama queen".

Last night after being destroyed by the Orlando Magic in Game 6th of the Eastern Conference finals "The King" acted more like a spoiled prince. Lebron refused to shake hands with any of the Magic players and then decided he was to "angry" to attend the post game press conference which is required by the NBA. Instead Mo Williams was forced to the podium to congratulate the Magic and explain why the best team in the league would not be going to the NBA Finals (by the way I have gotten on Mo Williams a lot in this series but he has my respect for doing a stand up job in that press conference).


I will be perfectly honest with you there are a lot of athletes who are "good guys" in front of the camera and assholes behind them. That is why I always tell you never take what you are seeing on TV at face value because for the most part it is just facade. With that being said almost everyone I know who has ever had contact with Lebron James says he is a wonderful person. That has teammates love for him in genuine not manufactured (like say Kobe Bryant). So this isn't a knock on him personally this is more of a small critique.

He was wrong in this situation and there is no explanation or excuse that is going to change that. You win like a champion you lose like a champion. He showed poor sportsmanship and a "diva" attitude. Once again similar to when I talked about JR Smith antics athletes have to be aware their actions have longer reach than they realize. Maybe Lebron doesn't care, but there are millions of Lebron James fans (a lot of kids and teenagers) who now think when you lose it is ok to not show good sportsmanship. When there parents and coaches try to tell them otherwise you know what they are going to say:

"Lebron didn't do it and he is the best player in the NBA."

Lebron says that he learned a lot from Kobe Bryant during his time during the Olympics. One thing that he didn't pick up was how to be a "good loser". Bryant is not universally loved by the public or media, but no one can say that he doesn't give credit when credit is due.

Kobe being embarrassed in Game 6 of the NBA Finals by the Celtics was a far worse embarrassment than what happened to Lebron last night. Kobe stood up like a man, took his medicine gave credit to the Celtics and went back to work to try to get back to the Finals.

I like Lebron and some may say this is nitpicking, but trust me I am writing this with Lebron best interest in mind. People like Skip Bayless and others who want Lebron to fail won't be as forgiving as I.

Since Lebron has been a mega star since High School I am sure he doesn't have a lot of people who are willing to tell him he is "wrong", but that has to change. I don't know it has to be Mike Brown or someone else, but someone needs to able to tell him that he needs to address his "diva" attitude. Trust me when I tell you that at some point in the near future if Lebron doesn't win the title the critics are going to come out in full force.

My advice is simple don't give them any ammo. Don't give them an opening to take you down. Every recap of Game 6 this morning includes the following statement:

"Lebron left the game without shaking hands or talking to reporters."

That isn't the last image that Lebron should want the general public to have about him when they think about the 2009 playoffs.

Physically there isn't a better player in the NBA and that includes Kobe Bryant, but mentally?

SMARTEN UP BRON

*UPDATE*

From NBA.com

James said he sent an e-mail to Howard following Saturday's game.

"It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them," he said. "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."

Someone needs to tell Lebron James to grow the hell up. You win like a Champion you lose like a Champion no matter how hard it is. I am very disappointed in him. A competitor and winner respects his opponent regardless of the outcome.

Lebron sounds like a spoiled rich kid who when he lost "took his ball and went home". He has a long way to go in his maturity to be considered The King of the NBA. Wasn't even man enough to call Dwight Howard. An email? Seriously Lebron? You would have been more successful on Twitter.

Once again I am very disappointed in his behavior.

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28 Comments

Great post, well balanced and factual. I think we all forget that Lebron is 24, hell, when I was 24 I was still having trouble working a washing machine let alone the world media. As a player he is as close to complete as I have seen, as a person he is driven, passionate and young, maturity will be his friend.

Its unfortunate that one of the best post-season efforts we have seen for a long time will be somewhat remembered for his 9th hour hissy fit. Front up in both good times and bad Lebron, then you will be the man and the player we love to watch.

Very fair article. Wish more people wrote like Littal

I know that LeBron is 24, but he has 6 years of NBA experience. He is not a young player, in the classic sense. I am very disappointed in how he handled the postgame scenarios last night. Littal has said in the past that he exhibits some diva tendencies from time to time. Last night does not do anything to change that opinion.

I heard he is set to address the media today. I am guessing he will apologize for last night's actions. This could stick to him if he is not careful. I am more of a Kobe guy than a LBJ guy. Kobe may not be as well-liked as LeBron, but you see Kobe address the media, win or lose. I remember him congratulating the Celts after winning the '08 title. That is how you handle losing as a superstar. Even with 6 years in the league, LBJ still has a lot to learn.

I think you guys are being too critical of Lebron. Hopefully this will be his Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader transformation! He possesses all the talent in the world but greatly lacks that killer instinct. I wouldn't be upset if he didn't say anything to the media until next season, as long as he murdered the competition next season like a bloody thirsty samurai ninja...

And what's wrong with a guy being a sore loser? What else is there really besides that? The winner doesn't feel sadness that the loser lost so why should the loser be happy that the winner was triumphant? Nobody remembers the loser. The NBA doesn't send them flowers.

Lebron if you reading this, go into hiding for the whole summer. Come back next season with nothing but veagance and a title set in your sights, and destroy all that step into your path!

Back when i was kid @ 11 years old we lost the baseball championship and I sit in the dugout.Then my coach got on to me.Kid go shake there hand and tell them good game.He told me real champions know how to win and lose don't act like a baby your better than that I thought.
When I heard Lebron left the building that brought back the memory I'm 44years old now.

My 6-year-old son would know it's rude, poor sportsmanship and down right disrespectful to not congratulate the team that beat you.

So I don't care how old he is. He knows better. And all that really accomplished was to shine a brighter light on his team's postseason failure.

Awesome series by Lebron. One of the more dominant in recent memory.

Lebron had a moment after the game. Just like the countless moments that we've all had in our lives. Only all of our mistakes were not on a world stage. I prefer to look at his full body of work(loyalty, charity, etc) and not a blow-up moment.

Good Article Littal. I wrote one on this topic on my site earlier today, ringing many of the same points. Its funny speaking with Cavs fans they can completely justify his actions.

Lebron is on the front page of Yahoo and they are talking about his "silence". That is what I meant about being aware that people will focus on the negative much more than the positive.

Hopefully Lebron will learn from this.

Why is everyone so surprised at Lebron's behavior? Of course he acted like a child and we have the media and many others to blame. How else is he supposed to act when he has been one the most overly hyped players to come along since Iverson?
How else should he react when the media kept making the Cavs actually believe they had a real chance?
How else was he supposed to react when we have a sensationalist media that has been calling this guy the "king" since before he entered the NBA?

The world made Lebron feel as if he was entitled with all the annointing and over-hyping and now look at him.

Good article.

I think Lebron will learn from this. There's nothing wrong with being an extreme competitor. You have to be a sportsman about it, though. I remember a young Michael Jordan who wouldn't shake hands with Isiah Thomas or Alonzo Mourning...BEFORE the game.

He made a mistake. And this is one that he'll grow from

That's inexcuseable behavior. The worst part is calling yourself the "leader of this team" at every instance and then leaving one of your foot soldiers to fall on the sword. I wonder how Lebron would have take in if Howard reacted the same in a reversed situation. Weak move all the way around. Pouting is a sign of weakness period. Show me a person of strength who pouts and preens, who doesn't face up in adverse times, in losing times. You can't because that person probably doesn't exist.

From the start the Media and everyone else has been a witness to nothing.

You gave someone a crown who didn't deserve it and this is what you get.

The NBA is turning into a joke and it is all because you don't want to recongnise the true best player in the NBA.

LaBron James is a over-hyped ball hogger and I am glad he got takken down a knotch.

In sports,greatness is suppose to be earned,
not given.

I am embarrased by the Fans and the Media of
LaBron James. True Fans would not have let
this happened to him.

True Fans would have told him the truth.

He even said it time and time again.

Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world
and no amount of Media hype(lies)is going to
change that fact.

You all gotten what you deserve.

From the start the Media and everyone else has been a witness to nothing.

You gave someone a crown who didn't deserve it and this is what you get.

The NBA is turning into a joke and it is all because you don't want to recongnise the true best player in the NBA.

LaBron James is a over-hyped ball hogger and I am glad he got takken down a knotch.

In sports,greatness is suppose to be earned,
not given.

I am embarrased by the Fans and the Media of
LaBron James. True Fans would not have let
this happened to him.

True Fans would have told him the truth.

He even said it time and time again.

Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world
and no amount of Media hype(lies)is going to
change that fact.

You all gotten what you deserve.

Good article! I am appalled by the statement that LeBron released as if that is somehow supposed to make up for his unsportsmanlike conduct. This is too simple for words. This has nothing to do with him being a superstar, rich, MVP, none of that. It's about being a man. Men know how to give credit where credit is due, and walk away with their heads held high. LeBron did neither. Yet, as the leader of his squad, the MVP of the league and the so-called crowned "King" of the NBA, he made himself look awful last night, and it left a really bad taste in a lot of fans' mouths. He needs to learn from this, and not end up like Isaih Thomas, and end up 15 years later regretting such actions.

There are going to be MANY nights like this when he plays for NY.

Lebron just lost my vote and millions who use to think he can be n a level to be mentioned with MJ the Greatest Ever. He doesnt play like mike, and he surely doesnt act like mike especially when his team get beaten. He and his team of phropets who thought they can steamroll past the magic given that they swept detroit and atlantabecame so cocky that they understimated Orlando Magic.

Sorry LeBron..YOu win as a MVP and when you Lose YOU SHOULD ACT LIKE ONE.. no matter how difficult it will be..

hopefully LeBron will learn from this.

First off, EXCELLENT article. You stayed very even keeled throughout and got your point acorss well without taking a side.

As far as Lebron's post series actions are concerned, I agree w/ many of you here that he came off as both selfish and petty.

His e-mail to Howard got me even more upset, especially this line:

"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."

I am a big fan of MMA and in that sport, the atheletes quite literally "beat eachother up" and despite the outcome, the losing combatant always shows respect for the winner and vis-a-versa.

The only instances I have not seen that happen in MMA is when the loser of the bout is unconscience.

Man up Lebron. You lost now deal with it like a professional. All of us must take losses in life and handle them with class - you should feel fortunate you get paid millions while doing so; as most of us do not.

Sad thing is no one in Cleveland thinks he is wrong. It makes me sick.

Your on point right here, its sad the only guy who knew what LeBron really was all along was Skip Bayless.

Lebron just had an true gut check. The truth is that everyone said he was the next Jordan. Well he has alot to learn and his on court demeanor is sub-par. He needs to grow up and face the music there will only be one Mike. Lebron displayed real unsportsminship walking off the court and not talking to reporters. Just another reason why kids should stay in school.

Lebron just had an true gut check. The truth is that everyone said he was the next Jordan. Well he has alot to learn and his on court demeanor is sub-par. He needs to grow up and face the music there will only be one Mike. Lebron displayed real unsportsminship walking off the court and not talking to reporters. Just another reason why kids should stay in school.

Lebron showed his true colors once again. I constantly have to remind people that are outside the D.C. area of the 2006 playoffs between the Cavs & Wiz. In between two free throws, James went up to Arenas and had a few words to say.

"If you miss both of those free throws, the game is over," James said he told Arenas.

Could any other player put a hand on somebody in that situation? (Has anyone before?) No foul was called, because the NBA only rewards crybaby cheaters like Lebron.

No true champion needs to act like that to win a game. He is Unsportsmanlike and will always be a loser. Do you think Tiger Woods would talk trash to Phil Michelson if Phil was standing over a put to win the Masters? No, because Tiger has class, which Labron will never have!

Labron’s new name = "King Unsportsmanlike James" and cry’s more than Jordon ever did.

You know what, LeBron James is the best player in the NBA right know. If you put Kobe in place of Lebron they probably wouldn't even made that far in the playoffs, and Charles Barkley said it best if you put Lebron In place of Kobe they would be unstoppable. Just leave the guy alone he basically carried this team though the whole series against Orlando. None of his supporting cast showed up and therefore he did everything on his own, I would be pissed to if I lost. People are blowing this way out of proportion. So what he didn't shake hands, THE GUY WAS JUST PISSED!!

I UNDERSTAND WHERE LEBRON IS COMING FROM... HE'S RIGHT YOU WOULDNT GO UP AND CONGRADULATE SOMEONE IF THEY BEAT YOU UP. PEOPLE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT ALOT OF EMOTIONS RUN THROUGH THE PLAYOFF AND IT WAS ALOT OF PRESSURE FOR LEBRON TO NOT PUT THAT LAST PUZZLE PIECE IN AND BRING HOME A RING. IM NOT GONNA SAY HE DID A GOOD THING BUT HE CARRIED HIS TEAM ALL THE WAY T JUST LOSE. I THINK THE CAS LOST BECAUSE THE TEAM AS A WHOLE DIDNT EXCEUTE ON DEFENSE AS WELL AS ON OFFENSE AND THE TEAM DIDNT STEP UP TO HELP LEBRON.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by BonaFide Sports Expert Robert Littal published on May 31, 2009 11:20 AM.

Are the Refs to Blame?? was the previous entry in this blog.

And Then There Were Two... is the next entry in this blog.

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