The Los Angeles Lakers are out of the NBA playoffs. In a shocking turn of events, the favorite to make this year’s finals got eliminated in six games in the first round at the hands of the Phoenix Suns.
But it’s not the humiliating loss that has people talking. Rather, it’s LeBron James’ behavior in games 5 and 6 of the series.
James left the bench early during game 5, heading to the locker room as the Suns put a drubbing on the Lakers. Anyone that’s played sports at any level knows that’s a no-no. The few times other athletes have left a game early in the NFL and NBA, they’ve been roundly criticized.
Worse, after getting eliminated in game 6, James once again headed to the locker room early, choosing not to shakes hands and congratulate the Suns on the court after their win.
A quick exit for Lakers’ LeBron James after Game 6 loss. No handshakes on the court w/ the Suns pic.twitter.com/hv7S60KHRk
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 4, 2021
Now, before someone alleges that people are just picking on LeBron, Tom Brady also drew weeks of ire last year when he walked off the field without shaking hands after a week 5 loss to the Bears.
Here’s the thing with James. If he wants to be seen as a great leader among men, he’s got to act like one on the court. You can’t just spout woke phrases while having no court etiquette and expect to not catch heat. For clarity, James is vaccinated, therefore COVID concerns are not an issue in this case.
On the political front, James hasn’t made any friends on the right in the last few years. As RedState reported, he recently threatened the hero officer in the Ma’Khia Bryant shooting after Bryant was shot trying to stab another girl to death. Another police officer was eventually fired for making fun of James’ response to that shooting.
The Suns now move on to play the Nuggets beginning Monday.