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LeBron's aversion to handshakes and common sense

Simpsons_handshake Among other highlights of today's 710 ESPN Lakers podkast (Discussions about Pau Gasol's finger, Kurt Rambis' defection/Phil Jackson's future, the "Pay Per View" section of Kobe Bryant's website, wicked use of Iron Butterfly), one of the topics BK and I discussed was LeBron James' steadfast insistence that refusing to shake hands after being eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals was fine.  I think he's done himself a tremendous disservice with this stance, but at least his rationale has always been flimsy ("I'm a winner"), as opposed to flat out bizarre... until now.

        "The media, your ... job don't start until ours' finish. You guys can't report and write you guys' story until we take a shower, until we come out and sit on the podium. That's the only thing I apologize for. As far as shaking hands, it's something that is not done in the NBA. 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."

         James is convinced the reason the story drew so much attention over the past few months was due to the fact he blew off the obligatory media session after the Game 6 loss in Orlando.

        "In basketball, you look at 82 regular-season games, it's easy, guys are gonna shake hands, 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," he said. "You never accept losing, ever."

        When the reporter reminded James that most players usually shake hands at the end of a playoff series, James bristled again. "No you don't, no you don't," he responded.

Am I the only person reminded of the SNL sketch where Martin Short's "Nathan Thurm" character attempts to deny obvious truths?

LeBron after a fall Um, players don't shake hands at the end of a series, LeBron?  Really?  Because if you check out those cats hanging around as you stormed off the court, I'm pretty sure that's what they were doing.  And before you offer another explanation, similar to the moon landing, this footage wasn't faked. 

Look, I would understand LeBron firmly denying the existence of aliens.  The Chubacabra.  A capable acting job from Megan Fox.  But NBA post-game handshakes?  This is your Carl Everett-Dinosaurs crusade, Bron Bron?  

Seriously, is LeBron so determined to avoid admitting a mistake that he'd rather look like an absolute fool in the process?  This has grown beyond ridiculous.  It's like The Fonz stumbling over a "I was wruh-wruh-wruh" while trying to say he was wrong.  I couldn't find a Youtube clip where pride transforms Chachi's uncle into a mushmouth, but I did find another scene from "Happy Days" that reminds me of LeBron these days.

By the way, the only thing better than Fonzie wearing a leather jacket while water skiing is wearing a life jacket subtle enough to avoid sullying his coolness.  Well played, sir.  Well played.

I don't know if it's the "Where do I go in 2010?" pressure, or seeing his puppet getting dissed by Kobe's, or he already misses Sasha Pavlovic, but whatever the case, LeBron appears to have gone off the rails of late.  Between this incident and ConfiscatedDunkVideo-Gate, we're all witnesses as one of the most naturally appealing athletes of his generation with a keen marketing savvy keeps air balling obvious ways to control what should be non-stories.  And in both cases, ego bears a common presence. 

Even if you believe LeBron that Nike snatched that footage over "policy," call me a naive dreamer with no understanding of contract clauses, but I'm pretty confident The King could have convinced Nike to make a special exception for him.  And considering that was the painfully obvious way to put the situation to bed, it stands to reason LBJ couldn't have been overly casual about people seeing the facial.  With the handshake, the inability to just own an error in judgment easily explainable and fairly minor has transformed him from a sore loser in denial to a sore loser making claims that are flat out delusional.  Whatever legs these stories have enjoyed came courtesy of a guy either too clueless or too arrogant about why they were even stories in the first place.  Insinuating the media blew this up as payback for blowing them off just adds more depth to the grave he's digging.  The lack of kibosh achieved from "Team LeBron" is pretty mind boggling.   

On the plus side, at least Shaq may not carry the burden of being the only Cav saying things that make folks cringe next season.  Variety is the spice of life, after all.


Photo: LeBron James on the floor.  Credit: Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images North America

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Ok...So lets say Kobe didnt shake hands and cried on the team bus....

Heavens to Mergatroid....Stage left...

The NBA and every sports writer on planet earth would have torn him to shreds..

Just another reason that this child has been rapped in cotton wool since he entered the NBA.....

You people dont understand how much i dislike this guy...You really dont..

Giant Squid,

That's fair. It was probably wrong on my part not mention Wade. When healthy, he's basically as good as they come, too.


I haven't posted very much since the championship, and the LO soap opera. However, I do read the blog pretty much everyday. But these old eyes reading these posts now, it appears like everything is sliding to the left and disappearing.

Lee Bron James has a lot to learn. Unfortunately, if you don't get the fundamentals of good sportsmanship, you can have that little tendancy to believe you are a KING without the crown. No one likes to lose, but it takes real class to accept the losses as well as the wins. Hope he finds out about the winning part.

I agree with the "Jump the Shark" reference. I'm no LeBron hater and if LeBron had said he didn't shake hands because he was mad he lost, that would have been understandable and I wouldn't hold it against him. But his "explanation" is just ludicrous. If Kobe had said it, it would have been just as ludicrous.

But whatever. LeBron will spearhead a good basketball rivalry against the Lakers and that's what counts. I suspect we'll see several epic clashes in the following years to Jon K's delight.

Looks like even the green trolls know their team is so old and crazy, they can't do any better than says "Cs in 7". Lame. If the Cs do make it to the Finals somehow, I say Lakers in 5 is entirely plausible. But I suspect the Shaq experiment will go a lot better than people expect and we'll see LeBron in the Finals instead...

Just looked at and realized the whole network looks like this. Very nice, its about time- dang ... wtf do we have to do win 15 banners, plus win crowning best ever coach by Jackson to get some stuff done up over here? Omg? This is L.A. folks, home of K-Fed. Jon K, real talk, whoever that new tec guy is, give him a raise. I Luved the old look but this is dope. It's like the Lakers at the Forum moving to Staples. Nothing was better than the Forum when it was rocking, but Staples is magic too.

So with a toast, I want everybody to raise their glasses and join me in this toast to all the haterz out there.
If your tasting a little throw up in our mouth while reading this I'm talking to you. Either way you will really be sick after knowing what your up against next year.

1)The best coach ever to coach in any sport. He coached the best player ever throughout his prime, and now he's got the only guy ever to be compared to Mike (Lebron d.o.e.s. n.o.t. count). And remember Kobe has the best surrounding cast of any Phil Jackson team ever.

2)say what you will about Ron 'the Thrilla' Artest, but the fact that he is an all-defender who is usually the best offensive player on his team (Indianna,Sac, Houston when Yao hurt)is a great 3rd or 4th option to have in the Laker lineup. Artest is a cross between Charles Barkely, Dennis Rodman, and Rampage Jackson. Speaking of Jackson, what are the odds of coaching Artest/Rodman, Jordan/Kobe, Gasol/Shaq, that nuts!

3)Bynum will hopefully have his first full aggressive season in 2009-10. Quite a few critics are saying since Shaq is out the West and that with Yao Ming being hurt, Bynums a lock for the NBA all-star game in Dallas(even possibly the starting 5, fingers-crossed). If that's even remotely true, now imagine playing that Lakers team in June in a best out of 7 series with LA having homecourt advantage. And let me remind you that no double teaming will EVER be done on any player with Kobe, Artest and Gasol and Bynum looking to score.

4)Gasol. If the guy finishes out his career in L.A. he's the only lock to have his jersey retired besides Kobe. Plus if he stays healthy he's a HOF. He is easily the most consistent player on the court and after his ring count is through, he will be the best foreign born NBA player to ever pick up a basketball.

5)Dfish and LO. Which guy would you rather have, Robert Horry, D-Fish, or LO, or which 2 of the 3? Cuz I'll take any 1,2, or 3 combination of these guys. The interesting thing is Fish and Kobe came in the league together, and LO's ol skool homie from the sandbox happens to be Ron. Plus LO adds the biggest dynamic, really of any other player on any other team, being tall, a ball-handler and a starter in a 6-man position. And don't forget this guys not egocentric or selfish with the ball or minutes, plus he rebounds and alters shots. Next year just isn't going to be fair.

5Kobe will be the 2010 MVP guaranteed next year. Yeah I said it. Even if you begin with that token premise that he should win with such a stacked team, you should now realize this. Your can't double Kobe anymore. He just took a summer off. And he doesn't have to guard the teams best player anymore. Plus don't forget Lebron can't get it next year with the whole shake hands thing. Chris Paul's out, Wade's out, Carmelo's out, is that everyone? Durant has to pay his dues, Dwight has to lead the east which will be tough enough and ditto for Garnett.

Anyway, I luv you guys. Shame on you Lebron. Go Lakers!

Lebron sucks. Go Lakers.

Good evening Laker Blog.

Sorry i haven't been diligently posting y'all, but life has a way of making you live it.

Jon K

All the best for you and the pooch. The hardest thing I've ever done is put my dog down and it took me years to want another dog, which happened very recently (Feb 09). Now Chip Coffee and me are best buds, but there's nothing to replace the old dog, just make new memories with the new one. I'm sure Delilah will learn the three-legged hobble and get right back to barking. As all dogs do.


The new layout's cool, but the "Next" and "Previous" tabs are covered up by the bottom-most post on each page causing one to search about the words for the link. Just wanted to let y'all know.

In regards to LBJ, I agree that this is now a non-story, however, we were all embroiled in L.O.C.O. and the acquistion of Ron Artest after the season and during the playoffs we were all pretty into...the playoffs.

So now is a perfect time to rehash what a monumental moron LBJ is being! Honestly, I don't see where he's coming from. The dunk footage, maybe, but the handshake...c'mon. Even Kobe hugged a couple of Celtics. Not the whole team, but that's a mark of a good sportsman.

Le Bron will have to learn the hard way, but that's how pro athletes do. Remember when Kobe wouldn't really talk to the media? Or when he was charged in a rape case in Co? They make mistakes just like us, the only difference is noone cares when we do ('cept maybe the Boss).

Let the dunks rain down, let them be taped by folks, shake hands with a buddy, even if he just wiped the floor with you. Don't act like a man. Be one.


Another observation on the new format, there are no paging. If there are five pages do we have to go all the way from Page 1, hit next, next, next, till u finally reach page 5. Yes, perhaps every next is counted as another tick sold to Ads buyer. Where is the quality of technology to make life easier in that process?

Jon K made a good observation that the comment box is on the top rather than below of every page. May I ask your tech man, do we really have to pass LA downtown every time we go to LAX?

so very well put, and said AK...

Re: the Times makeover - apart from the font/typeset look, there's not much that I like. It just doesn't feel real user friendly.

Thirty2 - Marbury and Tinsley are one thing but I'm pretty much stunned about Iverson. The guy's been a huge star in the league for a long time and he's still able to play at a high level. Maybe it has something to do with the way he handled the Detroit situation. I also think there's a growing tilt toward an overall youth movement around the league.


Maybe a bit more space between the end of one post and the start of the next. That might help visually so all the posts don't seem like one long sentence.

The comment box is hard to find too, for those of us who like to do thisngs quickly. instead of being at the end, it's somewhere in the middle now.

It looks nice though.


LeBron thinks he is Harry Potter, but he is only Draco Malfoy.

LeBron sucks? Kobe sucks, as well. BBall superstars all suck - that's what they're paid to do. Young & ignorant, rich and reckless - idolized and lionized and for what? Putting a ball in a basket.

Kevin McHale
Larry Bird
Magic Johnson
Michael Jordan

We beat anyone and everyone.

Dave m....I think the reason for Iverson still being around is him not wanting to come of the bench...Maybe he should talk to that Lamar Odom guy..

You know the one that took a while for it to sink in to his head that the 6th guy off the bench is pretty important on every team...

Heck i would love to be the tenth man of the year.....

It would put a little polish on the final chapter of his playing days....You know,be remembered for taking a lesser role for the team to still be a contender...

In other news..Richardson traded to a 4th he have swine flu or something?.....

I think King Crab might actually be crazier than Shaq .... it blows my mind to say that, and while I've never been a huge LeBron fan, a year ago I would never have believed I'd be saying that. The thought of them together on one team is ... something ... on the up side, when Shaq leaves the Cavs and throws LeBron under the bus, he might actually have the joy of talking trash about someone who will talk just as much delusional trash back, so that should be entertaining. Something to look forward to.

Maybe he's just trying to comfort the Laker fans who are still a little unsure of the addition of Ron-Ron. From where I'm standing, Artest is looking a lot saner than LeBron lately.

"LeBron sucks? Kobe sucks, as well. BBall superstars all suck - that's what they're paid to do. Young & ignorant, rich and reckless - idolized and lionized and for what? Putting a ball in a basket.

Kevin McHale
Larry Bird
Magic Johnson
Michael Jordan

We beat anyone and everyone.

Posted by: Otis | August 13, 2009 at 09:46 PM"

Otis, people get paid what they are good at. They should get paid a fair amount of the revenue that they generate.

You cannot derive such a conslusive opinion, based on your ill feelings which reak/leak of jealousy.

For instance, I bet if you would have a mini-contest at all star game to find out who the best players are, in a new format, say 3 on 3 half court......park style...I bet you'd get a bucncha players dying to take part.....why??? For the love of the game.

I say dump some of he all star stuff they have now and maybe have games of pros vs street ballers.....even bring in a street bal half court....sure would be more fun than watching he "skills" competitition.....are you listening/reading Davis the way, this was not a Phil Jackson suggestion, way don't fine him 25K$ and the Lakers 25K$.........

While you're at it....make the coaches stay off the court....they've been wandereing around too much.......

GREAT PLAYER but needs to realize his superior skills do not give him a pass on being a great person. Will be interesting if he ever wins a title to see if all the players from the losing team walk off without shaking his hand. Everyone in life has made a mistake before so GROW UP and act like a man.

Lebron doesn't show class, respect on the court and off court. He's simply pathetic, a crybaby, as usual. What can i say?
Maybe with Shaq we are all witnesses of the best dancing duo ever

Arrogance seems to run with the monogram "LBJ". Next will hear LeBron following in President Lyndon Baines Johnson's footsteps of bugging his own teammates' cell phone. (FYI: Lyndon Johnson bugged Vice President Hubert Humphrey's telephone.)

LeBron: "Hey Shaq! Can we talk Bro? What's this I hear you been talkin' 'bout takin' over leadin' the pre-game ritual? Just remember man, I'm the King!"

Shaq: (Thinking to himself: "How'd he know that? I was on my cell in an empty locker room when I talked about that.") "Nawh man. You know me, I don't need no spotlight. I'm your 'Big Jester'. I'd never try to de-thrown the King. We cool..." (Again thinking to himself: "So long as you feed da Big Dawg the ball 25-35 times a game.").

Ok...So lets say Kobe didnt shake hands and cried on the team bus....

Heavens to Mergatroid....Stage left...

The NBA and every sports writer on planet earth would have torn him to shreds..

Just another reason that this child has been rapped in cotton wool since he entered the NBA.....

You people dont understand how much i dislike this guy...You really dont..

Posted by: Thirty2 | August 13, 2009 at 07:59 PM

LOL Dang haven't heard snagglepuss say that sentence in years!
Heavens to Mergatroid....Stage left...
But I remember exit stage left! But you know that just was included in ...
Loved the memory.

King James thinks he can have his cake and eat it to?

If you believe WINNERS should show boat with your team at the beginning of games AND winners should not show respect by shaking hands after the game than some one is definitely messed up.

Have you ever heard of a FRONT RUNNER.
Go home and take your ball with you punk!

I think you got it right when you said he is a "fool". The guy is an awesome athlete, who is just not that bright (go figure!) and therefore makes dumb decisions that his ego want let him back down from

Mr James has gone down in flames... Remember this guy is the current MVP of basketball. There is a saying in the Bible that goes like this. "The Lord offends the mind to reveal the heart" James is so full of pride, ego, and denial that you cannot help but see how weak and frail he actually is. I am sure the guys in the NBA have not missed this. He may be a very good basketball player. He is a very poor example of a man. If fact he is a hyped up boy that has alot of growing up to do.

Now please stop comparing him and Kobe as the best in the NBA. James is not even close.

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