Everything has been going downhill for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o ever since his lackluster performance against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
The Lennay Kekua scandal was unveiled by Deadspin.com, opening the floodgates to jokes at the NFL prospect's expense. He had to go through public interviews to clear his name. And then he ran the 40-yard dash in an underwhelming 4.82 seconds on Tuesday at the combine, giving credence to the perception that he lacks the athleticism to be a star in the pros.
So, he had been in the midst of an nightmare that had turned into reality even before LeBron James decided to open his mouth on Tuesday.
But before the Miami Heat's game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, LeBron made sure to join in on taking a shot at Te'o, for no apparent reason.
NFL Combine again the pregame entertainment in the Heat locker room. Asked his 40 time, LeBron said he rana 4.6 in training last summer.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) February 26, 2013
LeBron on his 4.6 40 that he pointed out was without training, "It's better than Manti Te'o, I'll tell you that."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) February 26, 2013
Why? That's all I want to know. Why does James have to throw a barb Te'o's way?
He's already widely regarded as the best basketball player in the world. He's an NBA champion. He's a nine-time All-Star. He's a three-time MVP. Why?
It's no wonder why James continues to be a polarizing athlete even when he is on top of the basketball world. As soon as you are about to applaud him on his game and the work he has done throughout the years, he goes back to being the egotistical, self-centered superstar that made him a villain after "The Decision" to leave his hometown of Cleveland for Miami.
I've got news for you, LeBron: The Manti Te'o bashing has run its course. It's not funny. It never was. This kid is 22 years old. He's been through torture ever since the Deadspin story broke. Now he has to hear about the best basketball player in the world—with a global marketing reach—bashing him for no reason, just because it's apparently entertaining to poke fun at him.
Enough is enough. Te'o has done nothing to anybody.
Was his draft stock overinflated during Notre Dame's 2012 campaign? Yes.
But is that his fault? No. That was everybody else unfairly pegging him as the next superstar in the NFL when all he was doing was playing football to the best of his ability.
Now, when things are falling apart all around him, everybody wants to bring him down.
LeBron reaches every corner of the globe with his star power. He knows everything he says can go viral. So, why? Why would he throw Te'o under the bus?
Apparently, Manti Te'o has more character than LeBron James.