5 days ago
Monday, June 1, 2009
Why Are We Even Arguing?
After the Cleveland Cavaliers' loss to the Orlando Magic in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James walked off the court without congratulating any of the Magic players or coaching staff on their victory. There is now a debate raging in the sports world as to whether King James committed an athletic faux pas.
That there is even a debate speaks volumes about the current level of professional sports. This is one of the very first things we teach kids when they start to compete - you always, always, always shake your opponent's hand after the game, win, lose, or draw. (Of course, if your opponent plays dirty or disrespects you during the course of the game, then all bets are off, but that wasn't the case here.)
If this had happened at the end of any golf tournament, the golfer who shunned his opponent after the final round would be universally condemned, no ifs, ands, or buts. Yet another reason why golf is my favorite sport.
Now, I don't want to give the impression that I'm hating on LeBron. He's a gifted athlete, and when all is said and done he'll be known as one of the best basketball players in history. But even more importantly he's a nice guy, who usually brings a lot of class to a sport where class is in short supply. His emotions got the better of him in this case, and I can certainly understand that. What bothers me is the fact that there's even a debate about this. He should have shaken his opponents' hands after the game, end of story. And everybody knows it. Or at least I hope they do.