LeBron James is the best player in the world…So?!

LeBron James has obviously been reading his own headlines. Sunday night, after his Cleveland Cavaliers lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals, 104-91 and fell behind 3-2 in the series, LeBron had this to say to reporters when asked about his level of confidence (email subscribers click here to view media):

I sometimes criticize basketball for being an individual sport masquerading as a team sport. There is an overemphasis on individual play, especially at the highest level. LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world. So, what?! He was the best player on the floor in last year’s NBA Finals too. That’s why he’s in Cleveland now.

It doesn’t matter what the Internet memes or so-called experts say. LeBron is not doing it by himself. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team. They will win as a team or lose as a team. The same goes for the Golden State Warriors. Who cares if LeBron wins the NBA Finals MVP award and the team loses the series?

What gets lost in all the LeBron for MVP talk is that the Cavaliers are playing a historically great team in terms of regular season record. Only five teams in NBA history have won more games during the regular season than the 2014-2015 Golden State Warriors and four of them were Lakers, Celtics and Bulls teams. For context’s sake, the Lakers team on that short list did not include any combination of Shaq, Kobe, Magic, Kareem, or Worthy. That’s how good these Warriors are.

No man is an island and no one man makes a team. In basketball, it takes five players on the floor working toward a common goal – not four guys waiting on one to save the day. The Cavaliers and LeBron are going to learn that one way or the other.

LeBron head injury shows winning still trumps safety

In case you missed it, this happened to LeBron James during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night (email subscribers click here to view media).

The cameras that networks use aren’t over-sized camcorders, they are heavy, sturdy pieces of equipment. LeBron goes about 6-9, 260 – and he didn’t hurt the camera. Lebron was bleeding and writhing on the floor in obvious pain holding his head.

LeBron was not tested for a concussion. He didn’t go to the locker room for that matter. What you see initially was the extent of LeBron’s medical treatment until halftime.

Towels! They used a bunch of towels to soak up the blood streaming from his head. Seriously, LeBron could have at least gone to the locker room to wash up a little and change his jersey.

Unfortunately, we all know why LeBron never left the game and why no one even whispered about taking him through the NBA’s concussion protocol. Look at the score. Cleveland was down by 12 already and Golden State’s lead may have ballooned to 20 or more without King James.

There’s no way to tell if LeBron should have been completely removed from the game, but he at least deserved to get checked out thoroughly. Player safety has to come first in all situations. Whether it’s the NBA Finals or a youth league exhibition, use your head and take care of it.

Profane insult from Warriors fan stops LeBron in his tracks after Game 2

The Golden State Warriors are a great team and they have great fans – except one.

This lady paid good money to be within earshot of LeBron James and she decided to shout an obscenity so vulgar and inappropriate that I can’t show you even an edited version of the video here. You’ll have to Google it on your free time. Don’t look it up at work. I don’t want anyone’s employment status to change because they read my blog.

LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world. He’s played everywhere and I’m sure he’s heard vile comments from fans before, but this one made him stop and turn around.

Some people will say LeBron should toughen up. Fan heckling is a part of the game. I would argue it’s not, but calling an opposing player a bum is nothing compared to what this fan said. It’s just a game. LeBron didn’t hurt anyone. He and his teammates just went out and won a basketball game.

Buying a ticket, even an expensive one, doesn’t give fans the right to yell profanities at players or insult their families. Besides, the guys on your favorite team probably have good friends on the other team. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if LeBron and Steph Curry hung out or had dinner together between games.

The emotional connection that fans have to their teams is part of what makes sports great, but too much emotion is dangerous and has no place in any game. You’re allowed to be disappointed after LeBron hits the winning shot against your team, just don’t treat him like he kicked your puppy.

Houston Rockets classless in playoff victory

The Houston Rockets were on their way to a closeout win Tuesday night in the first round of the NBA Western Conference playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks. Things seemed to be going great until this appeared on the team’s Twitter account:

This was really low and beneath any measure of sportsmanship. Here’s how the Mavericks responded:

Maybe the Rockets can live up to their own name and rise above the classless taunting in the next round.

LeBron James eulogizes Lauren Hill via Twitter

Lauren Hill passed away on Friday. She was 19. A remarkable young lady, she touched our souls as she pursued her dream of playing college basketball while fighting an inoperable brain tumor. If you are not familiar with her story, please watch the USA Today video below (email subscribers click here to view media).

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LeBron James, the greatest basketball player in the world, was even humbled by Lauren’s strength, courage and determination. He took to Twitter to let the world know about an extraordinary young lady who lived a life bigger than 19 years could hold. Here are James’ comments as written:

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Russell Westbrook gives MVP car to single mom

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was this year’s NBA All-Star Game MVP. He received a new Kia along with the MVP trophy. My guess is that Westbrook already has plenty of transportation options, so it’s good he decided to give the new car to someone who can really use it.

Kerstin Gonzalez is a single mother of two who was struggling to get back and forth to work and school while caring for her boys. Check out Gonzalez’s reaction as Westbrook handed her the keys (email subscribers click here to view media). 

Gonzalez is a client of Sunbeam Family Services, an Oklahoma-based social service organization that helps families in need. Westbrook’s example shows that you don’t always have to go out of your way to help someone else. Westbrook didn’t need another car — much in the same way you and I don’t need all those extra coats, shoes and accessories we have at home. Our excess can help meet a need.

Giving back doesn’t have to break your back. Be a blessing to someone today.
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Andrew Harrison should have played his last game for Kentucky after racist, obscene comment

Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison has likely played his last collegiate game as he is expected to be a high lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft. After a racist, obscene comment he made Saturday night, Kentucky should make sure he never plays another game in a Wildcats uniform.

Wisconsin  defeated previously unbeaten Kentucky, 71-64, in Saturday’s NCAA Tournament semifinals. Harrison was seated with his teammates and head coach John Calipari on the dais in the postgame press conference. The group was asked about the play of star Wisconsin power forward Frank Kaminsky.

Microphones these days are excellent at picking up just about any sound. Harrison tried to whisper his comment, but it came through clearly. The obscenity is too foul to even write an edited version here, but Google Harrison and it will blanket your search page.

Yes, a young man actually said that in front of his coach, teammates and the world. There is no place for that type of behavior or racism in sports. If Kaminsky had said this about Harrison, he would be done at Wisconsin — not only as a student-athlete, but as a future alum as well.

It doesn’t matter that Harrison is young. It doesn’t matter that he was upset after losing such a big game. A person’s character has to be bigger than the game. Athletes will win and lose big games. How you conduct yourself cannot depend on the score.

Harrison’s game will probably mature at the next level. One can only hope his attitude will as well.