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?
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.