LeBron stands by his decision not to shake hands with the Magic


“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.”

“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.

After a few more seconds of back and forth, James continued to try to explain his position. “Teamwork has nothing to do with shaking hands,” James said. “I’m not a poor sport at all. You can ask anyone that knows me, I’m not a poor sport at all. Who brought up the rule that shaking hands, that’s what you’re supposed to do? No one shakes hands at the end of series all the time. No one does that. No one does that at all.”


Related content: What LeBron really meant in his first post-playoff interview

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What LeBron really meant in his first post-playoff interview

Back in the good ol’ days, athletes used to speak their mind when someone put a microphone in front of them. Players would get into trouble for the things they said, so as time goes on, they’ve become more and more careful about not offending anyone. Some guys even hire publicists to teach them how to interact with the media. This has led to virtually all player/reporter interactions to be completely sanitized of any possibly controversial material.

As a former college player, I’ve been interviewed by a few reporters in my day, and watching one of the best (Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan), I learned how to sound like I was saying something when I was actually saying nothing. I did it out of pure fear — I didn’t want Bo waking up the next day to see that his small forward had said something stupid or controversial to a reporter.

While listening to LeBron’s first post-playoff interview the other day [video], it occurred to me that he was talking a lot, but wasn’t actually saying much of anything. There were a lot of platitudes — he needed to get better over the summer, that he loves playing in Cleveland, etc. — but the interview was seemingly absent of honest opinion or revelation.

So here is LeBron’s transcribed interview, along with my translation of what he really said when he wasn’t saying anything…

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Blogging the Bloggers: LeBron’s faux pas, Tyson review and more

– Over at YARDBARKER, Brendan Haywood calls out LeBron for failing to shake hands or do interviews after losing Game 6 in Orlando.

THE LEGEND OF CICILIO GUANTE lists the Top 10 Sports Quotes to Use While Watching Sports.

SPORTSbyBROOKS has photos of a pregnant Royals fan drinking a little brew at the game. So sad. The site also finds it funny that Jay Mariotti lectured LeBron on good sportsmanship.

THE LOVE OF SPORTS reviews “Tyson” (the movie).

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