A funny thing happened, though, on the Cavs’ way to the finals. They got beat.
After Dwight Howard and the Magic beat the Cavs in six games, America was stunned. So, too, was LeBron James.
The superstar refused to shake hands with Magic players and made a bee-line to the locker room. The next day, he refused to apologize, saying he was “a winner” and he wasn’t being “a poor sport or anything like that.”
Months later, after the dust has settled, surely LeBron is seeing things more clearly … right?
“As far as shaking hands, it’s something that is not done in the NBA,” he said on a 710 ESPN Lakers podcast, according to the L.A. Times’ Lakers Blog. “If it was something like tennis, after tennis, you play, you win, you lose, you go to the center and shake hands, it happens every game in tennis.
“In basketball, you look at 82 regular-season games, it’s easy, guys are gonna shake hands,” he said. “The fact that [I didn’t] do the media [session], I think that’s why [the story] was all blown up, and I apologize for that, but I will not apologize for shaking nobody’s hand. You never accept losing, ever.”
Though a handshake is typically seen as a measure of good sportsmanship, James clearly has a different view. Still, when James was reminded that, in fact, players do actually shake hands at the end of a playoff series, James responded by saying, “No you don’t. No you don’t.”
Of course, James could be legitimately confused. He didn’t catch much of what took place in May, and a year earlier, when he and the Cavs were eliminated in Boston, he was off the floor as soon as the buzzer sounded.
Still, the question of just how a player who’s still not won anything in the NBA has taken on the role of unbeatable champion remains to be answered.