Professional athletes shouldn't be the role model in a child's life. At least not when it comes to sportsmanship.
When an athlete acts in a way that would have embarrassed many of the 12-year-olds I umpired for, there needs to be something said. Nobody may care, but I promise I will still say it.
So what am I going to say?
LeBron James, you've disappointed me.
There are 14 million-plus reasons why he doesn't care what anyone has to say. He shouldn't care what anyone says. However, that doesn't mean he should've skipped the now infamous handshake entirely.
Just because you're a competitor doesn't mean you can't shake someone else's hand. Just because you're a winner doesn't mean you have to say good game and congratulate the victor.
Appearance is everything.
Do you think Bill Belichick walked up and said, "Nice game. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!" after the Giants game?
He probably simply said good game. He spent about one second with that grasp at the middle of the field.
But that's just it, James didn't even give the opposition the courtesy of a brief handshake at mid-court. He didn't answer a single question in the post game to the press, and not a single word in the locker room.
That's not a king. That's not even the jester.
I'm a huge fan of James. I even want him to eventually be as big as Michael Jordan. We all know he can't eclipse him entirely, so let's not start that debate.
But let's talk about how somebody used to take him seriously, but can't after what followed that display on the court. It was the aftershock that got me more.
Walking off the court was bush league and childish, but what was worse than all of that? Defending his actions more than 24 hours later.
Let's just go ahead and pretend we're professional athletes. Put yourself in that position. I think most would be able to find it deep within to shake at least one hand.
My head might be too small to wrap it around the idea of accepting such a poor sportsmanship, but next time James and whatever team he plays for loses the big series, here's one man who hopes he can find it within himself to shake some hands.