There are many people upset over the actions of LeBron James not shaking the hands of Orlando Magic players but I can tell you that Lebron is still a class act and here is a few reasons why in my opinion is behind his actions.
1. In Lebron's rookie season he shook hands with all players from the Detroit Pistons following their game 7 defeat. He repeated this act after a finals loss to the San Antonio Spurs despite getting swept. Last year he once again showed class by shaking the hands of the Boston Celtics following their game 7 loss. So what makes this year different. It is simple, Lebron himself admitted that he lost to the better team in all of the series I just named. Cleveland was overachievers in each one of those series. That was not the case with the Orlando series. Cleveland was the better team. They won a franchise record 66 games. They were the king of the mountain for the first time. So I believe he was embarrassed for this defeat. He left the court out of humiliation of being only the third team in NBA history to get bounced from the playoffs after winning 65 games.
2. My second excuse for Lebron is he is just young. He is only 24 years old and I know we have all had bad sportsmanship on our hands at some point especially in our late teens and early 20's
3. The third reason is because of Lebron's passion. He made it very clear at the beginning of these playoffs that he was going to vindicate Craig Ehlo. He was going to erase every bad memory in Cleveland history and replace it with joy. Lebron put the entire city on his shoulders. He grew up a Cavs fan and has so much love for this city and this team. He had a chance to cement his legacy as Jordan did with Chicago. He is the best player in the league, but somehow the curse of Cleveland lives on. So you have to imagine the abount of pain, frustration, and embarrassment going through his head as the final buzzer sounded. He was too crushed to talk to the media. I believe in his heart he would have said something that he would have regretted later and just decided to be a no-show.
4. Lastly I truly believe that Lebron believed this was his one and only chance to win in Cleveland unless he signs the extension of course. They are losing Ben Wallace to retirement and Anderson Varejeo to free agency. There is no other big man filling them shoes, unless they can pull off a sign and trade with Varejeo and a guard and draft pick to the Raptors for Chris Bosh. Big Z can not play 48 minutes and the Cavs inside game next season will be non-existant.
I hope Lebron doesn't give up on Cleveland. I love to see great players in small markets, its so good for the game. Unfortunately for him, he will have to sign an extension past next year to have a shot to win there, because the East is only getting stronger. Do I believe Lebron is a class act? Absoulutely. Do I believe he made a mistake? Yes, especially from the league MVP and face of the league. I do not believe this incident will tarnish the legacy on what could be the greatest player ever to play the game before he is all said and done.
Lebron is still a man of class
Posted on: June 2, 2009 8:21 pm