Sure, one could argue that great champions should never take well to losing, but there are still certain ways that superstar athletes are expected to act after suffering defeat. And when you're arguably the best basketball player on the planet and you and your team just put up a stink bomb in front of your home crowd, there's a certain level of accountability that's expected.
LeBron seemed to see things otherwise.
"I spoil a lot of people with my play," James told ESPN.com, when discussing the booing from the Cleveland fans during Tuesday's 120-88 loss to Boston. "When you have a bad game here or there, you've had three bad games in a seven-year career, then it's easy to point that out."
Really? After a 3-of-14 performance from the field, the best thing LeBron could say was that he's been good in the past?
No, actually — he also said he feels bad for himself.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself to be out there and be the best player on the court, and when I'm not, I feel bad for myself because I'm not going out there and doing the things I can do," he explained. "But I don't hang my head low or make any excuses about anything that may be going on, because that's not the type of player or person I am."
While James explained the type of person that he is not, we're still wondering what type of person he is. Nobody is going to call him a failure for one bad playoff game, and it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see him rally the Cavaliers to oust the Celtics in seven games. Yet when recalling his refusal to shake hands or talk to the media after losing to the Magic last spring, and when considering the extent to which he's been selling his elbow injury over the past two weeks, the comment about "spoiling the fans" is disappointing, and it only makes it harder to believe that LBJ is destined to be the next MJ.
Still, in light of the "spoiling" comments, certain performances cannot be forgotten. Maybe he did spoil Cavs fans with his ridiculous career numbers. Maybe he did spoil them with that Game 7 performance in Boston a couple of years ago. Maybe he did spoil them by leading a largely untalented Cavs team to the Finals in 2007, when he was just 22 years old.
You know what? He definitely did spoil a lot of people, but he doesn't need to say it.