LeBron: Classy or Sassy?

Hey, I don't know. They rhymed.

So there's been all this consternation about how LeBron didn't shake hands with his opponents after his loss the other day to the Magic. One of our commenters referred to him as a "classless bitch," and there was much consternation on the ESPN airwaves. I saw a montage of guys like Juwan Howard, Skip Bayless, Bill Rhoden, Mike Lupica, and several others all appearing to be of the opinion that it was immature. I saw this montage on the Sports Soup on Versus (which is trying sooooo hard to be hilariously funny).

However, isn't it possible that LeBron was just beside himself? That maybe he was so upset that he didn't want to deal with anybody? I mean, it's not like he was playing PS3 in the locker room and blowing off reporters. The dude got dressed and high-tailed it to the team bus. He was done. And, really, what could he possibly have said? The Cavs just followed up a 66-win season by losing in six games (and probably should have been swept) to the Orlando Magic, a team absolutely nobody was talking about a month ago. So, seriously, what could LeBron have said? He did everything he could, and so if he even said anything of that sort, someone would write a column about how he was implying his teammates weren't up to snuff -- which they really weren't.

All that said, I'm not defending LeBron. He's a big boy and he's the face of the Cavs and pretty much the league. He needs to sit up there and answer questions after big losses just like he does after big wins. I remember Tiger Woods blowing off the press after shooting a 75 in his first year on tour and people pointing out you need to be the same, sportsmanlike guy in those instances that you are when you shoot 67. Good point.

I also love how everyone is carving up every word he says about his future in Cleveland and then running with it. "LeBron said he wants to stay!" "LeBron said he's got no reason to leave!" Let me ask you something: If LeBron did want to leave, do you think he'd say so right now? I mean, seriously, people. He's got a year left on his contract. If he said to the press right now that he was even thinking of contemplating to listen to offers once he becomes a free agent, well, they'd burn down the Q, I think. LeBron cannot say that or the Cavs go into the tank, in many ways. The minute he says he's going to consider his options, I think it's all over. The team will not play with focus because they'll feel like the fun is over, the fans will then either stop coming or will come but will be bitter... and it'll all serve to motivate LeBron to leave.

I think he's going to stay, too, because there's no reason he needs to be in New York or Brooklyn to be a star. It was evident during the conference finals when Jay-Z and A-Rod and other athletes and celebs were there for the game. This was Cleveland and it was the center of the sports world on those nights. And that's very cool for Cleveland and a big indicator -- to me, at least -- that LeBron can be just a big a star in Ohio as he can be anywhere else. It's a global village now and we all can see all games and all stars anytime we want. LeBron is from Ohio and if he can even bring one title to Cleveland, he'll be a god there forever.

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