Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James: King James Becomes King Baby

CLEVELAND - MAY 28:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic  during the 2009 Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 28, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Brenden MonroeCorrespondent IJune 2, 2009

So we all know what happened the other night with LeBron James.  Now the backlash has begun, so I have decided to jump into the conversation.

What James did was inexcusable.  If Delonte West or Ben Wallace did this, nobody would care, because they are role players.  King James is the face of the league and a superstar.

James' quote, "I am a winner...," bothers me.  What exactly have you won LeBron, an MVP award?  I know he won an Olympic medal and believe me, I am not taking away from that. But he hasn't won anything in the NBA, and nobody cares about whatever he might have won in high school.

As I began writing this, Michael Kay brought up a good comparison during the Yankee game.  After blowing game seven of the World Series, Mariano Rivera stood in front of his locker and fielded every question the media threw at him.  I am sure the last thing Rivera wanted to do was talk about it, but he did because it was part of his job.

I was an athlete, and the hardest thing to do after a game is to shake hands with the people who just beat you, so I imagine dealing with the media is tough as well.  As I mentioned with Rivera, dealing with the media is part of your job when you are a professional athlete.

LeBron James did something unprecedented a few years back when he created his own marketing firm to handle his image.  He has the final say on any endorsement that he does. LeBron doesn't have a PR firm handling his image, so any statements made after the incident will be his words.

Let's be real here, this will not help his image, but it won't hurt it in the long run either.

The problem that I have with this is that LeBron is a role model, and he knows it.  When kids are told to go shake hands after a loss, I am sure more than a few coaches will hear, "LeBron doesn't do it."

LeBron needs to man up and admit his mistake.  He is only 24 years old, but he is the face of the league.  The NBA has trouble enough with their image, it doesn't need one of its most talented players to hurt it even more.

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