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Come on, LeBron, grow up

POSTED July 10, 2009 9:16 p.m.
Never mind his multi-million dollar slogan with his multi-billion company: “We Are All Witnesses.” LeBron James, the so-called Chosen One, lives by these words, as if to say we all should be grateful that we’re breathing the same air as him.
He’s no Tiger Woods at his finest.
He’s no Michael Phelps at his fastest.
He’s no Michael Jordan at his absolute greatest.
But here is LeBron James the crybaby, the hypocrite. He got dunked on earlier this week by a college sophomore named Jordan Crawford of Xavier University during a pickup game at LeBron James’ Skills Academy in Ohio. James then allegedly went to Nike — the company that has paid him millions of dollars before he played his first minute in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers — to discuss the YouTube-worthy incident. Later, Nike executives confiscated the tapes from a pair of videographers, who were not informed beforehand that they couldn’t film the pickup game.
This isn’t exactly hard news, but it illustrates how unfit the 24-year-old James is as an adult at this juncture of his career.
We’ve seen his childish ways before. He completely shunned the media and good sportsmanship after his Cavs lost in the Eastern Conference finals last season to the Orlando Magic and Olympic teammate Dwight Howard, creating this image of a sore loser. He said later that it was just difficult for him to accept losing and that it wasn’t personal. King James forgets that he’s one of the biggest sports stars in the world and kids idolize his moves as if they belonged to Michael Jackson.
Since the dunk, there have been plenty of excuses. Some say LeBron wanted the tapes confiscated because last season’s MVP isn’t in top basketball condition. Others point to the unwritten rule among veteran media types: Anytime pros scrimmage, it’s off the record. And there’s also the conspiracy theory that this is a Nike publicity stunt — and that ordinary people will soon witness the dunk on their TVs in the near future.
This shouldn’t be a big deal. Yeah, one of the world’s best basketball players got dunked on. Tell everyone. This has happened before. Even Shaquille O’Neal, who’s listed at 7-foot-1 and 325 pounds and will join LeBron next season, gets posterized from time to time. Getting dunked on, for the most part, just means you’re playing defense. It’s a part of the game. Jordan has been dunked on. Hakeem Olajuwon, one of the greatest centers ever, was once dunked on by Kevin Johnson, a small point guard who is now the mayor of Sacramento.
But none of those legends demanded the tapes.
Even the kid who dunked on the King is behaving much more like a man than LeBron, who is known to celebrate his own dunks. Crawford is not blowing up his name on the Internet with one of the greatest Facebook updates ever: “I dunked on LeBron!!!!” Crawford appreciated the opportunity to play in the basketball camp.
James, who cares about his image as much as a teenager getting ready for prom, has to come out with the truth and admit that he got dunked on.
We’re waiting ...
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.
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