Lebron messed up
by, 06-02-2009 at 06:42 AM (794 Views)
Covering high school soccer this past fall for a community newspaper, a star player decided to walk off the field instead of shaking hands with the other team after a great battle, which ended in overtime with her team losing the game. She was very upset with the way her team's season so she showed her frustration with her immature behavior.
This sportswriter went out of his way to go savage the player to her coach, and then to the other team's coach, who made it a point to call her out in an interview. This writer also got into a confrontation with her mother.
This was similar to what Lebron James did Saturday night at Amway Arena after the Magic ended his team's season by defeating the Cavaliers in Game 6 for the right to go to the NBA Finals.
It would not be right for this sportswriter to have different set of rules for a high school player and a professional athlete so as painful it is to do it since Lebron is a likable guy that people should root for, he deserves criticism for the way he conducted himself, and it's about time the national media and fans called him out on that.
He could not get away with what he did here. Could anyone imagine the outrage that Kobe Bryant would have gotten if he pulled the same stunt? He could have done just that last year when his Lakers were steamrolled by the Celtics, which gave the Celtics the championship in Game 6, but he didn't. He took the time to congratulate Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, and keep in mind, he was hurting on the inside being the competitor as he is.
It's understandable that he was frustrated about what took place Saturday night with all the hype that was going on. Everyone had him and his team to go face the NBA Finals, and there were products such as Vitamin Water and Nike doing commercials about the comparisons of Kobe and Lebron.
With that said, how is he any different than any of his teammates or the Cavs coaching staff? Does he think those guys don't want to win? Those guys were upset too, and guys like Joe Smith, Ben Wallace, and Wally Szczerbiak are about to be done as NBA players so they wanted to win, but at least, they had the decency to shake hands with the Magic.
Also his actions represent couple of different things. For one thing, it seemed like he felt like it was birthright to come on the court and accept a victory. Also, he seemed like he was taking his anger out on his supporting cast for not faring well in the Finals with the realization that his cast is not very good like Orlando's.
It's never easy, but part of being a athlete of any level is being a good sport by congratulating the players from the other team for winning the series and acknowledging them for their work in this series. He should have shown some respect.
Also, why didn't he go talk to the media after the game? He is a star in the league, and stars are supposed to talk to the media whether it's win or lose. Fans deserve the right to know what went wrong, and how the Magic won the series from a player's perspective.
Lebron can't have it both ways. If he is going to want the media's adoration when times are good, he better deal with criticism that comes with losing, and obviously, he was not prepared to deal with the slaughter after the elimination game.
Being frustrated is nothing more than an excuse to justify a bad behavior, and Lebron has been in a big stage long enough to know how to conduct himself if nothing goes right for him.
There are always life lessons in any situation, and Lebron certainly learned something for sure.
He will work hard to be the best player he can and try to get his team to a championship next year, but it's safe to say he will learn how to handle himself better if he and his team endure another torture of disappointment.