King James Leaving Court?

By Michael L Rautins

Since Tuesday night when the Cavs lost to the Hawks 104-95 in overtime, all eyes have been on Lebron. Wait a minute. Aren’t they always on Lebron? That is exactly why walking off the court with 15 seconds left in the game, after missing a 3, cannot happen. James is the biggest specimen in the petri dish we call the NBA these days. Knowing this, James has to be careful in his actions, as difficult as it may be at times. With the fame and fortune of being an NBA superstar comes the responsibility of carrying yourself in such a manner that is professional. To James’ defense, I couldn’t imagine having every little move I make being dissected. Thing is, I didn’t just sign a 3 year contract extension worth about 60 million dollars.

With new shoes on the market, entertaining commercials, and games televised nationally every week, the media is neglecting to mention the most influenced demographic by James and his actions. The kids. How unimportant is this incident when kids who idolize James walk off the court the next time their frustrated? I grew up playing basketball in my driveway with my tongue hanging out and fading away. What will this generation do?

Nike says, “We are all witnesses.” Watch this commercial and you tell me if I’m overreacting.

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11 thoughts on “King James Leaving Court?

  1. I think that commercial was a nice touch and did a great job of highlighting your angle. I’ve watched Barkley, Wilbon and other media heads talk about this and no one has brought up the message it sends to all of the kids the look up the LeBron.

    Great article Mike, keep ’em coming!

  2. I hate that commercial. All the highlights are against the Wizards. I think LeBron made a mistake, but it’s not the end of the world. He’s smart enough to realize his error and not do it again. My kids are 7 and 10 and love sports (they flip the channel from PTI and SportsCenter to Nickelodeon). This really didn’t register with them. I do think the referee crackdown will have a trickledown effect because the whining was constant, but this was a one-time thing. And if everybody chills out, it will be over.

  3. First off, he did not leave the court. If you watched the video, you would have seen that he just stayed on the offensive side of the floor. No other player was doing anything. You are just perpetuating a myth the national media keeps pushing. Pretty lazy if you ask me.

    Would I have rather had him go past the halfcourt line and just stand there like everyone else? Sure. How anyone can question his competitiveness is crazy. Do you watch him play? He is getting to Garnett level of intensity.

    He is great for the NBA and will continue to be if we all stop harping on non-issues and start talking about his beautiful ability to pass and lead.

  4. What tha hell!??!

    He’s good, but when this was an issue plastered all over TV, I was ready to jump off my ground floor balcony again! I HOPE GIL GETS 82 TONIGHT, JUST SO FOLKS WILL HAVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO TALK ABOUT

  5. Seriously. Why isn’t there a discussion of why Charles Barkley has already anointed a 41 win team from last year with the addition of Ben W. as an elite team that has nothing to prove. Then Ben has 2 pts and 5 uneventful boards while the Cavs wipe up the floor with Chicago.

    Barkley then points out all the problems of the “Elite” Chicago Bulls. Wow does he hate Lebron. He has been doing this since he was a rookie. Then he says that Lebron is not a point-forward?!?! Excuse me! If there was ever a player who could be a point forward, it is Lebron. Did you see what he did in the playoffs last year when he has the ball at the top of the key. Virtually unstoppable offensive set.

    Nah, let’s talk about when the Cavs were down by 9 with 15 seconds and Lebron was rightly frustrated and stood on the other side of the court.

    Let’s not talk about the new offensive sets. Or Drew Gooden playing unbelievably in the first year of a new contract!! How often does that happen. jeez!

    C’mon people. Let’s talk basketball!

  6. Let me step in for a second and express my appreciation for a post like this because as a coach something like what LeBron did leaves a negative impact on kids and I see the ripple effect in my practices. I understand how people don’t see it as a big deal – if I weren’t a coach I wouldn’t care either – but the reason why I posted this article is because I felt Mike raised a great point. LeBron is being marketed heavily and kids are seeing him on covers of magazines, watching his clips on You Tube and essentially looking up to his every move. As pre-teens when my players see their idol walk away from the play they feel that this is acceptable for them as well. I think what Mike is trying to get across is a perceived lack of respect for the game. Relax – I said perceived. While it’s clear that LeBron has a passion for playing the game and winning it’s something like this that leaves a bad impression on the players.

    Personally, I would have liked LeBron to just say that he made a bad choice from walking away from the play and then this debate would be over. I think what’s giving the media some fuel is the fact that he doesn’t see a problem with walking away from the play.

  7. Drew – there have been a ton of great things happening so far in the NBA season. After spending some time in New Orleans this summer I instantly became a Hornets fan and I love that they have started the season off with a 4-1 record.

    Gooden is a beast this year! The TNT announcers were talking last night about his perceived lack of respect and I agree with that. He crashes the boards, plays decent D and is a player that score in double digits without needing to have plays run for him. Signing Gooden to a contract extension this summer was a huge move for Cleveland.

    Another thing that I’m watching closely has been the “strong” start of my Raptors who won their second game already (last season it took 20 games to get their second win).

  8. Ryan you and Mike make great points. I totally agree with the kids thing. Our responsibility as coaches, fathers and writers are to objectively explain the situation to our youth so that they properly understand LeBron wasn’t disrespecting the game. We are dumbing down our kids if we truly feel that they can’t distinguish right from wrong. We have to start doing a better job of simply parenting. When these situations arise there becomes a great opportunity to reinforce what we expect out of our children. If we drop the ball then it’s OUR fault, not the athletes in question. The athletes aren’t rasing our kids, we are! Football players do it all the time. I just don’t understand the crazy scrutiny that the NBA finds itself dealing with.

    What is truly up with that? It’s incredulous. I just don’t understand what exactly the NBA is trying to say. Can anyone explain?

    I hope sports doesn’t sway to quickly becoming the deadly Rollerball type entertainment, but when they are constantly telling the players to not do this and you can only do that, it becomes confusing.

    It isn’t all about the fans. That point is almost never commented on.

    LeBron is probably one of the most scrutinized athletes on the planet–similar to Mike Vick. The media attention (I can’t even secure a 15 minute interview with LeBron until further notice) gets tiresome regardless of how much money they make. Frustration sets in and then a 20 something athlete reacts in a way kids his age normally do.

    You are correct Ryan when you state that if LeBron was a little more forthcoming then maybe this would go away quickly.

    What I don’t understand is that some of my peers are lumping him in with Randy Moss. That’s just BS.
    Those writers need to be called out instead of congratulated for creating such a ridiculous storm.

  9. Mike and Ryan, totally respect and appreciate your points of view. I guess I just fell that someone like Lebron has the right ot be human every once in a while. I grew up in Cleveland (big shocker huh?) and was so worried that he was going to end up like Ricky Davis or the like. I have been so pleasantly surprised that he represents himself, the cavs and the NBA so well. He says the right things and is all about team.

    I know it’s weird having sympathy for a person worth almost 200 million at the age of 21. But can you imagine if was like most young successful NBA players and acted horribly? How would the kids react to that?

    I just think we should strive to place things in perspective. The media tends to try to unearth this stuff out of nothing instead of putting out stories that most people are interested in.

    Anyway, I again appreciate your comments and the fact that you are teaching young kids in the US to play this game. Please keep it up 🙂

  10. Mike – as always, thanks for your feedback! You summed this situation up best when you wrote, “I hope sports doesn’t sway to quickly becoming the deadly Rollerball type entertainment, but when they are constantly telling the players to not do this and you can only do that, it becomes confusing. It isn’t all about the fans. That point is almost never commented on.” I could ramble on some more, but, there’s nothing more that needs to be said. We need to get back to just enjoying sports as adults and not get wrapped up in the soap operas that have the potential to unfold. As adults watching this his actions shouldn’t matter but that’s the perspective the media is taking as they “attack” his credibility this week. On the flip side of that, I really liked Rautins simply raised the question about what effect this has on kids watching games and idolizing LeBron.

    Drew – I hear what your saying on worrying about LeBron being the next Ricky Davis but this “issue” was a small blip on the radar as he is a class act. I completely agree that he’s done a great job of representing Ohio, the Cavs and the NBA. Again, I’m going to refer to Mike’s comment where he wrote, “LeBron is probably one of the most scrutinized athletes on the planet–similar to Mike Vick. The media attention (I can’t even secure a 15 minute interview with LeBron until further notice) gets tiresome regardless of how much money they make. Frustration sets in and then a 20 something athlete reacts in a way kids his age normally do.” As a relative “kid in the league” I think LeBron’s done a wonderful job of handling all of the stress, time commitments and pressure of being a star in the NBA at such a young age.

    Thanks for the compliments on coaching, I’m doing what I can to coach the next generation in ballers… in Canada, eh! I live just outside of Toronto 🙂

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