What a difference 48 minutes can make.
Before they threw up the jump ball to start Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals, you could have found LeBron James and his fellow Cleveland Cavaliers doing a whole bunch of "pre-game rituals"—or pre-game nonsense, as I like to call them.
James and his teammates pose while he snaps pictures, the whole spectacle that has become his powder tossing, or my personal favorite, Daniel Gibson acting like he is pitching a baseball and James swinging as if he just hit a 450-foot home run.
Ah, those fun times.
However, after the game, that same ringleader wasn't having too much fun.
In fact, he was displaying one of the worse cases of poor sportsmanship and sore losing that has been seen since the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys" walked off the court prior to the buzzer sounding after Michael Jordan's Bulls finally beat them.
As bad as that was, this was much worse.
Isiah Thomas may be a Hall of Fame player, but he was never the face of the entire NBA. LeBron James is just that.
He is the person that you can't go 10 minutes without seeing his face on one of five different commercials. He was one of two players that David Stern and the rest of the NBA offices were absolutely praying would make the NBA Finals so they could have a ratings bonanza.
In case you haven't heard, James immediately walked off the court following Game Six while the rest of his teammates and his coaches were doing the right thing—congratulating the Orlando Magic on advancing to the NBA Finals.
We all understand that he was upset over the loss. We get that. He should've been upset. He should've been heartbroken.
However, he still has to do his job.
He's not the only player who is upset after a big loss. Does he think Paul Pierce and rest of the Boston Celtics wanted to shake the Magic players hands and congratulate them on their win on THEIR homecourt? Does he think they were happy after losing the chance to defend their crown?
Of course not. However, they tucked their tales between their legs and did it. Why? Because certain things come with being the face of your franchise and this is just one of those many things.
As if not shaking the Magic's hands wasn't bad enough, he didn't even congratulate one of his closest friends and fellow "Redeem Team" Gold Medal teammates, Dwight Howard. He didn't do it on the court or even in the back, in the locker room.
I wasn't the only one surprised at that.
Dwight Howard said it was "surprising" when asked what he thought of LeBron's actions after the loss. He was only able to dig up that one word after a legit 10-second pause before answering.
Those two acts were nothing but being a poor sport. However, his last act was truly selfish, especially to his teammate Mo Williams.
After the game, while the press room was buzzing at the chance to interview James about the loss, he decided to not even have the common decency to show up.
Nope. He got dressed and immediately went to the bus.
He didn't just affect himself with this action. No. He affected Williams.
Williams, who has only been a Cavalier for one season, was forced to go to the press room by himself and face the firing squad—all while "King James" was probably sitting in the bus, listening to his iPod.
I hope LeBron at least gave Williams a cigarette and a blindfold.