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macro
06-01-2009, 04:43 PM
Jim Rome was riding LeBron James pretty hard just now for failing to congratulate the winning Orlando Magic players after the last game of their Eastern Conference Championship Series. He said it made him look like a poor sport and a sore loser.

That got me to thinking: Upon the completion of a pro baseball game, the winning team's players congratulate one another on the field, while the losing team simply disappears from the dugout and down the stairs to the locker room.

Why do losing basketball and football teams stick around on the field/court to congratulate the winners, while baseball players get a pass? Isn't this a double standard? Would LeBron be considered a poor sport if he did the same as a player for the Indians following a loss to the Rays?

Mario-Rijo
06-01-2009, 04:49 PM
Poor sport or not I'd be right with LeBron, Rome (and while I'm at it Cowherd) is a moron.

Chip R
06-01-2009, 04:51 PM
Hockey players always form a line and shake hands with their opponents after the final game of a playoff series. In the NFL it seems optional - much like baseball. Although players do sort of informally congratulate each other and sometimes pray together. You don't see it in baseball past college.

Although you can't say LeBron is a phony. He may be a poor sport but you have to admire him somewhat for taking the loss so hard.

Razor Shines
06-01-2009, 05:14 PM
Jim Rome was riding LeBron James pretty hard just now for failing to congratulate the winning Orlando Magic players after the last game of their Eastern Conference Championship Series. He said it made him look like a poor sport and a sore loser.

That got me to thinking: Upon the completion of a pro baseball game, the winning team's players congratulate one another on the field, while the losing team simply disappears from the dugout and down the stairs to the locker room.

Why do losing basketball and football teams stick around on the field/court to congratulate the winners, while baseball players get a pass? Isn't this a double standard? Would LeBron be considered a poor sport if he did the same as a player for the Indians following a loss to the Rays?
I'd say it's because of the contact. You feel like you've been in hand to hand combat with the other team after a basketball or football game. There's more of a bond in contact sports, at least that's always been my experience.

Razor Shines
06-01-2009, 05:20 PM
Did Lebron usually stick around to shake hands after winning a series? It's easy to be a good sport after a win. I have a little bit of a problem with him not congratulating the Magic, but it doesn't make him a bad guy. He just let his emotions get the best of him and made a mistake.

UKFlounder
06-01-2009, 05:20 PM
Location, location, location...

If NFL or NBA players were in dugouts with tunnels to the escape, they may be more like baseball players.

In baseball, when the game ends, you have 9 players from one team on the field, with only 1, 2, 3, or 4 of the offensive players on the field at the same time when the game ends. The vast majority of the baseball teams are already away from each other and the dugouts are on the opposite sides of the fields.

In football or basketball, you have more players closer together at the end of the game than you do in baseball, and often times, players have to cross the field/court and pass opposing players in order to get to the locker room. Baseball players have a nice tunnell to escape down.

DTCromer
06-01-2009, 05:38 PM
I would think it's more of a tradition thing in baseball.

As for Lebron, no one would really care if it was Ron Artest doing this kind of crap. But Lebron is the face of the NBA. Did Jordan ever fail to shake hands with the opposing team? My guess is no without checking, but Lebron is just a sore loser. Part of the reason I liked the guy so much is because he was so classy and did things the right way. This is a bad blemish on his record with me. Grow up Mr. James. Quit acting like a baby.

Eric_the_Red
06-01-2009, 06:10 PM
Didn't two baseball teams line up and shake hands within the past few seasons? I remember seeing it, but can't remember which teams it was. I liked it, and think teams should do it more often.

VR
06-01-2009, 06:31 PM
Didn't two baseball teams line up and shake hands within the past few seasons? I remember seeing it, but can't remember which teams it was. I liked it, and think teams should do it more often.

Little League World Series :)

WMR
06-01-2009, 07:07 PM
One thing I think it's important to remember is that LeBron is 24 years old and in many ways still a kid. He just showed that he's got some growing up to do, IMO, but it's not a black mark against his character or anything.

IslandRed
06-01-2009, 07:15 PM
I think the post was lost in some board crash or other, but I started a thread on this a couple of years ago, wondering why teams shaking hands and saying "good game" or somesuch was considered basic sportsmanship after a game or series, in pretty much any sport at any level, except pro baseball. Mostly, it's an "always been that way" thing, rooted in the attitudes a hundred years ago where people thought that if you could bear to shake someone's hand you must not have wanted to win badly enough. I think most people know better nowadays, but tradition is tradition.

improbus
06-01-2009, 07:39 PM
Who cares? I want LeBron w/ a chip on his shoulder. I want him angry.

westofyou
06-02-2009, 11:36 AM
http://www.freep.com/article/20090602/COL08/906020314/1053/SPORTS05/Two+of+a+kind++Sidney+Crosby++LeBron+James+caught+ in+the+media+s+glare

Two of a kind: Sidney Crosby, LeBron James caught in the media's glare

BY DREW SHARP
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST


The privileged aren't allowed the luxury of being frustrated. They have to smile and take it because every action and reaction is scrutinized.

And when they come across as too robotic or too casual in defeat, they're reviled for not wanting to win badly enough.

And when they expose a human side, complaining a little too vociferously or frowning too much in defeat, they're branded as spoiled brats.

Sidney Crosby and LeBron James are kindred targets, prodigies who are the best players in their respective sports. It's also why they're despised, because they somehow haven't accomplished enough to warrant the lavish attention showered on them.

LeBron didn't shake hands with Magic players after Cleveland bowed to Orlando in the NBA playoffs, and you'd think civilization was rocked to its primitive core.

Crosby clipped Kirk Maltby's skate following the Red Wings' Game 1 victory over Pittsburgh, and the two exchanged verbal pleasantries. Such psychological back-and-forth happens all the time in a playoff series, but because Crosby can't do anything outside of the camera's eye, the shtick with the stick added more Kleenex to the ticker-tape shower for supposedly the NHL's biggest crybaby.

The problem isn't with Crosby and LeBron.

We're the problem. It's the fault of media, fans and a corporate culture that places a premium on establishing superstars. Either you want these guys to win or you want them to lose. But, either way, you're paying attention to them.

Neither Crosby nor James merits any "Aw, poor baby" sympathy because they willingly accept the money that comes from being hockey's and basketball's "chosen ones." But if LeBron's worst sin is not giving Dwight Howard a quick, insincere fist-bump after The Man of Steel humbled His Royal Majesty, then LeBron becomes a candidate for sainthood considering the far more serious transgressions of his contemporaries.

The NHL should tell Crosby to follow James' lead and not shake the Wings' hands once the Penguins have lost the Stanley Cup for the second straight year.

It would keep hockey on the mainstream media radar, even though some players haven't participated in the traditional end-of-series handshake at center ice.

Chris Chelios didn't shake hands with Anaheim after the Ducks eliminated the Wings in the 2007 Western Conference finals. New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur held a grudge against New York's Sean Avery last year and didn't shake hands.

Nobody cared.

Crosby's going to blow before this series ends. Henrik Zetterberg is in his head. And the Penguins must win tonight to have any chance of extending this accelerated series beyond Saturday.

Nobody's disputing that there's oversaturation -- too much Kid and too much King. But there's an idiotic notion that both are somehow overrated, artificially propped up by their leagues and national media and corporate partners.

But the argument that both have been charitably given what others have dutifully earned collapses under this point: If you were starting an NHL and NBA franchise right now and could choose one player to start the foundation at his current age and skill level, you would take the 21-year-old Crosby and the 24-year-old James.

It's not even a debate.

ochre
06-02-2009, 11:50 AM
somehow, it's probably all Ty Cobb's fault.

Scrap Irony
06-02-2009, 12:08 PM
If they accept congratulations after winning, they should shake hands after losing. Anything else smacks of elitism.

Caveat Emperor
06-02-2009, 02:15 PM
If they accept congratulations after winning, they should shake hands after losing. Anything else smacks of elitism.

What's so wrong with being a poor sport? Basketball is LeBron's job. He failed in his goal of leading his team to a championship. The loss will probably directly impact LeBron's bottom line in lost additional endorsement deals and prestiege. That's the real-world equivalent of failing to close a deal or losing a huge sale to a competitor. We don't expect Boeing to call Airbus and congratulate them on scoring a government contract when that loss will cost Boeing billions.

Even if you limit the conversation to individuals, the argument falls flat. I highly doubt that Christian Bale called Ben Stiller to congratulate him on "Night at the Museum" beating "Terminator 4" at the box office. Why should we hold LeBron to a different standard?

westofyou
06-02-2009, 02:24 PM
Even if you limit the conversation to individuals, the argument falls flat. I highly doubt that Christian Bale called Ben Stiller to congratulate him on "Night at the Museum" beating "Terminator 4" at the box office. Why should we hold LeBron to a different standard?

If they stood on a stage and did a dueling acting competition then the description might be apt, otherwise it misses the mark and that is that it's an event played out on a sporting field, not the till of the movie theater.

Hoosier Red
06-02-2009, 05:02 PM
Did Lebron usually stick around to shake hands after winning a series? It's easy to be a good sport after a win. I have a little bit of a problem with him not congratulating the Magic, but it doesn't make him a bad guy. He just let his emotions get the best of him and made a mistake.

This is the important point. If you're a good enough sport to congratulate the other team on their "noble effort" than you should congratulate the opposing team when they are able to beat you.

I think the point Rome made was correct too, it's not like anyone could possibly look down on LeBron for shaking hands with the other team. He just created bad PR which is odd from a guy who seems to understand good PR better than just about anyone.

improbus
06-02-2009, 07:23 PM
Sorry, this is the biggest non-story of the year. Is ANYONE going to remember this next year? This was basically an alley-oop to Skip Bayliss.

Hoosier Red
06-02-2009, 09:00 PM
I'll agree that its basically a non-story. What I will say is the non Skip Bayless/Mike Lupica talking heads have all been fairly level headed in the debate. Generally its along the lines of "Well it was stupid of him not to do it, and he did himself no favors in the press conference, but he's still a good guy who just did something stupid."

improbus
06-02-2009, 09:50 PM
I'll agree that its basically a non-story. What I will say is the non Skip Bayless/Mike Lupica talking heads have all been fairly level headed in the debate. Generally its along the lines of "Well it was stupid of him not to do it, and he did himself no favors in the press conference, but he's still a good guy who just did something stupid."
The only reason that it was stupid was because it would get the media guys panties in a bunch. Anytime a player skips a media engagement, they suddenly become "outlaws" because the media guys know that their "magical and unique" sources are quickly disappearing.

IslandRed
06-02-2009, 09:52 PM
Basketball is LeBron's job. He failed in his goal of leading his team to a championship. The loss will probably directly impact LeBron's bottom line in lost additional endorsement deals and prestige.

Lebron James, The Brand, is based on being likable just as much as it is being a great hoops player. Acting like a jerk and becoming less likable could also result in lost endorsement deals and prestige. Not that I think this single incident rises to that level, but it's a direction he should not pursue further.

paintmered
06-02-2009, 10:53 PM
Lebron James, The Brand, is based on being likable just as much as it is being a great hoops player. Acting like a jerk and becoming less likable could also result in lost endorsement deals and prestige. Not that I think this single incident rises to that level, but it's a direction he should not pursue further.

I'd argue that Lebron James, The Brand has been successful because he's one of the only elite athletes anointed at the age of 13 and hasn't screwed it up on or off the court. The only other I can think of is Tiger and maybe Lance Armstrong.

Otherwise, he's just another Kobe or A-Rod. Great players, but they aren't beloved. All it takes is one poor decision to cross that line and there's no going back.

Roy Tucker
06-03-2009, 01:50 PM
I agree its a non-story. After an NBA game, any cross-team congratulations is pretty haphazard. Lebron was mad. He knows the Cavs blew it. I don't blame him.

I like the teams all lining up and shaking hands. In every sport of every high school game I've seen in the last 10 years, they do this. Every game, every time.

I like the NHL Stanley Cup shaking hands thing. Most of it seems sportsmanlike. Every so often, you'll get a guy who has a pretty dang serious case of the goo against an opposing player and won't shake hands, but that's by far the exception. Its usually something like he killed the guy's mother or something.