Gatorade has expressed remorse following a pair of controversial tweets sent out during Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals on Thursday night.
The popular sports drink company apologized on Friday for the tweets seemingly directed at Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, who was forced out of the game late in the fourth quarter after suffering severe leg cramps inside a sweltering AT&T Center in San Antonio, according to the Los Angeles Times' Houston Mitchell.
The tweets in question read as follows, per Mitchell:
"We were waiting on the sidelines, but he prefers to drink something else...The person cramping wasn't our client. Our athletes can take the heat."
Gatorade issued the following apology in response, per a press release, via Mitchell:
"Our apologies for our response to fans' tweets during [Thursday] night's Heat vs. Spurs game. We got caught up in the heat of the battle. As a longtime partner of the Miami Heat, we support the entire team."
With the air conditioning malfunctioning in the arena and the four-time league MVP sidelined, the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 110-95 win to seize a 1-0 series lead over the Heat in the Finals for the second straight year.
To avoid falling into a 2-0 hole, James and the Heat will have to execute much better down the stretch of Sunday's Game 2 in San Antonio. Even with James struggling to adapt to the undesirable conditions, the Heat took a four-point lead into the final quarter of Game 1. However, Miami came apart defensively, specifically losing track of the Spurs' three-point shooters.
With two full days off to recover, expect James and his Heat teammates to be ready to go on Sunday night. So long as Miami can continue to force San Antonio into committing turnovers and close out on the Spurs shooters, the two-time defending NBA champions will have an excellent shot to even the series before it shifts to South Beach on Tuesday.
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