Can somebody please tell LeBron James that "King" is not an official title?
James and his Cleveland Cavaliers just lost to Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals, and really, that should have been the low point of his week. It was not. LeBron followed up by refusing to shake hands with the Magic, storming out of Amway Arena in Orlando without answering reporters' questions and then defending himself when he was finally cornered Sunday.
"It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them," he said.
I'm with you on that, LeBron. Absolutely, it is hard. Not as hard as, say, putting in 12-hour days at a manufacturing plant, and certainly not as hard as getting laid off from the aforementioned manufacturing plant, but it's hard.
"I'm a winner," James continued
, and I'll let that one slide, because he played like a winner even if his team did not. But then he said this:
"It's not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you're not going to congratulate them. That doesn't make sense to me."
Well, it does make sense to me. And you know who agrees with me?
''I think Isiah did a heck of a job leading his team,'' Jordan said in June 1990 after he lost to his least favorite team (the Pistons) and one of his least favorite players (Isiah Thomas) in the Eastern Conference finals. ''He initiated things and that's what he needed to do."
LeBron also said, "It doesn't make sense for me to go over and shake somebody's hand," but actually, it makes plenty of sense. And you know who agrees with me?
"You hear so much talk about him as an individual player," Magic said in 1991, after Jordan's Bulls beat his Lakers, "but he's proved everyone wrong with this championship."
If you gave Jordan the choice between complimenting Isiah and having his tongue removed without an anesthetic, he would have asked you for a pair of pliers. And Magic, one of the most competitive athletes ever, surely did not like Jordan knocking him off his throne.
You're not supposed to like it. But you are supposed to do it.
LeBron needs to understand that.