Former NBA All-Star Jeff Teague recently shared a compelling and humorous story on his “Club 520 Podcast,” recounting the backlash he faced after pushing LeBron James into the stands during a heated postseason matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2016. The incident resulted in an onslaught of death threats directed at Teague through social media, forcing him to delete his Instagram account at the time.
NBA Veteran Reflects on Backlash After Forceful Play Sends LeBron James Into Stands
Known for his entertaining storytelling, Teague, now 35 years old, has gained popularity within the sports podcasting community. His anecdotes from his NBA career often go viral, and this particular story is no exception.
During the podcast episode, Teague touched on another incident involving Golden State Warriors veteran Draymond Green, who infamously choked out Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. Drawing a parallel to his own actions, Teague provided insight into why he chose to push James into the stands.
Jeff Teague hilariously explains why he pushed LeBron into the crowd at the end of a Playoff game 🤣
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 20, 2023
Admitting to being a sore loser, Teague explained, “I didn’t win a playoff game against that n—- ever. I was sick of that s–t. Fans in Atlanta were cheering for him. … I got so much hate mail. … That’s when I first deleted Instagram.”
Teague’s candid admission sheds light on the intense emotions and pressure experienced by professional athletes during high-stakes games. The competitive nature of the sport, coupled with the passionate support of fans, can sometimes lead to heated moments on the court.
In the case of Teague, the frustration of repeatedly falling short against James, coupled with the disappointment of witnessing home fans cheering for the opposing player, pushed him to his breaking point. The subsequent influx of hate mail further exacerbated the situation, prompting Teague to take the drastic step of deleting his Instagram account to escape the vitriol.
Teague’s recollection offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by athletes in the age of social media. It serves as a reminder that behind the glitz and glamour of professional sports, there lies a human element vulnerable to the pressures and emotional tolls of competition.
While Teague’s actions may have been controversial at the time, his willingness to share this story allows fans and listeners to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of professional sports and the toll it can take on the individuals involved.