LeBron James Should Have Not Reached out to Crazed Fan James Blair
For me, James has been, hands down, the MVP this year and made the league fun to watch.
This is where I turn to be a bit of a hypocrite.
The only argument I have with his performance is what he did off the court. This past week when the Miami Heat played James’ old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, a fanatic by the name of James Blair ran out onto the court.
Blair was wearing a shirt that said, “We miss you, come back 2014” in regard to LeBron’s contract ending with the Heat. LeBron has said he would entertain the possibility of coming back to Cleveland, which does get the hopes up for some Cavs fans.
Greg Cote of the Miami Herald wrote in his column about James going to back to Cleveland. He quoted LeBron saying:
“I think it would be great. It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I don’t know what the future holds, but I don’t want to take that [option] out.”
Still, fans from Cleveland can show their support of James' possible return in other ways instead of what Blair did this past week.
I know LeBron could defend himself with a kid that weighs about 100 lbs (soaking wet), but that is not the issue. Blair and LeBron interacting on Twitter is not setting a good precedent to other fans and players.
In most cases, TV cameras don’t show it when a fan runs on the field or court. The networks don’t show these fans since it negates part of the motivation behind them trying to interact with players during a game.
James Blair did get TV time and it should have ended there, but it did not. Blair, who was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing, took to Twitter and LeBron responded back to him.
LeBron should have not started to interact with him on Twitter since it opens the door for other people to meet their favorite athlete. I can see when the next person pulls a Blair; they might say, "It worked for James Blair to meet LeBron, so why not me?"
Most fans know not to try something like that, but there will be copycats, and this is ultimately my concern. We have seen fan-player interactions in the past like Metta World Peace (Ron Artest at the time) and the Detroit Pistons fans escalate to a bar brawl-style fight when a fan threw something at the Pacers during the infamous "Malice in the Palace."
There were recent issues during a Virginia men’s basketball game when fans stormed the court following the Cavaliers 73-68 win over Duke. Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski voiced his concern for his players' safety when the UVA fans were racing onto the court.
Do we really want more James Blairs running onto the court so they can get more Twitter followers and meet their sports idols? If you have seen pictures of Blair’s room, it almost looks like Ray Finkle’s room from the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
The Heat and Cavs were both stunned by Blair’s impromptu, on-the-court moment, and someone really could have gotten hurt. Social media is great at times, but when James responded back to Blair, it was a tweet that James should never have sent.
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