NBA Commissioner David Stern fined LeBron James 25 thousand dollars after he refused to talk to the media after losing game six and the series to the Orlando Magic. James certainly made a mistake in blowing off the media, but he does not deserve to be punished. The Cavs were expected to reach the NBA Finals easily and losing the series to Orlando must have stunk immensely, specifically for LeBron who’s individual skill level is one of the greatest of all-time, but has yet to reach the Finals.
I can understand that LeBron would not want to talk after the game. I think anyone who has ever played sports can understand that. As a fan, you want to see the players rise above their anger and embarrassment at defeat and show their character by speaking with class, but you can’t expect that.
LeBron made a mistake, but not one worth 25k. I certainly wouldn’t want to face the media after a loss like that, but I’m not LeBron James. With such high expectations for the Cavs, LeBron would have been sliced up by a media eager to criticizetheir stars. I understand why he didn’t talk afterwards. David Stern has no right to dictate whether players speak to the media after the game. LeBron hurts his own image by not speaking. He doesn’t tarnish the game. Stern, butt out.
The Commish has laid down such strict standards in the league that people don’t recognize how unfair these punishments are. Twenty-five thousand dollars for not speaking with the media after a season-ending loss. That’s extreme. Maybe a talking to and get LeBron to apologize (which he did as well).
The thing that I find more upsetting is that he didn’t congratulate the Magic after their victory. I can understand that as well. It’s very hard to recognize another team as being better than you, because you always think you are better. Yet, I do expect LeBron to step up and show an ounce of maturity. It’s one thing to blow off the media-hounds who are just looking to sink their jaws into you, LeBron. It’s entirely different to not show respect to your fellow players.
Stern shouldn’t be able to fine LeBron for that either, but he deserves a strict lecture. That behavior is unacceptable. As is the fine. This whole situation is marred by one mistake after another, with no one showing the wisdom to get LeBron to realize, accept, and apologize for his mistake and then move on.