March 29, 2011
As you may already know, LeBron James(notes) and the Miami Heat visited the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night, in the team's second and final 2010-11 appearance in Cleveland following Ohio-native James' sign-and-trade to the Miami Heat last July.
Back in December, the first meeting between the teams provided a chorus boos, though the rancor hardly mattered as the Heat won handily. This time around, with the Cavs bringing up the NBA rear with a 14-58 record, James' appearance was predicted to be "less raucous," which would be nice.
And then the Cavs decided not to allow the entourage they had coddled and employed for years into the building with James on Tuesday afternoon.
And then, during player introductions, this happened:
That's right, tough-as-nails LeBron decided to skip on the player introductions, and also (this will get the comment brow-beaters in a frenzy) the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner." LeBron told reporters after the game that he was in the restroom while his teammates took the boos for him. Kind of de rigueur for someone who doesn't even take the team bus to games.
Pretty cheap move for LeBron, and there's no real excuse for extending this soap opera. The one thing he had over his adversary in Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert (who showed up for Tuesday night's game, but has more or less gone into hiding at his own arena during Cleveland's league-worst season) was on-court accountability. This time around, LeBron couldn't even be bothered to show up to the bench.
We might be hearing about a bad taco or a phone call that couldn't wait or James' foot being caught in a bear trap in the upcoming days, but we all know what's what. This was incredibly pathetic.
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