Note to members of the Miami Heat: Just stay away from games of knockout at youth basketball camps or international tours. They never end well.
First, LeBron James makes a scene at a New Jersey camp by flattening a kid in a game of knockout … only to be embarrassed by being eliminated himself moments later. The entire incident was a PR gaffe on multiple fronts, even if King James did donate a pair of signed shoes to the victimized player.
Incredibly, two weeks later, Dwyane Wade committed a similarly unpardonable sin by rejecting a camper in a game of knockout … again only to fall short in the game's final stages.
Well, now the Heat's "losing to teens in knockout" act has gone international, with King James feeling wrath of a deep three drilled by a 16-year-old Spanish player. The knockout elimination appears to have come after James had taken part in a basketball clinic in Barcelona … and apparently just days (or possibly even hours?) before he appeared atop a high dive looking positively petrified to jump off.
Famously, LeBron did eventually jump off the high dive. Unfortunately for he and his teammates, he was unable to salvage anything from his game of knockout after being surprised by the Spanish teen.
To be fair, it wasn't as if LeBron's Spanish conquistador just hit a lucky shot, either. He coolly stroked a three from just behind the arc after James tossed up an even deeper shot from nearer half court. LeBron was showboating, and his opponent went for the kill shot. Kudos to the Spaniard.
Still, it's hard not to view the entire incident outside of the context of the Heat's summer of knockout folly. Was LeBron's latest elimination a result of more karma for his dunk takeout back in New Jersey? Perhaps. Or maybe those European teens really are terrific outside shooters. After all, it wouldn't be the first time that platitude has been used to extol the virtues of the European game.
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