To him that refuses to give respect, none shall be given in return.
Apparently certain of his public invincibility, LeBron James continues to defend his refusal to shake his opponents' hands after they stole his birthright sent him packing in last year's Eastern Conference Finals.
Via ESPN, a few silly quotes:
When asked by a reporter if he regretted not shaking hands since it gave him his first "black eye" in the court of public opinion, James said: "I still haven't had a black eye, for one. Two, I don't regret anything that I do. The only thing I apologize for that night is not doing the media [session, after the game].
"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."
This just in: Since LeBron is not aware that shaking hands is, in fact, standard practice after games (not to mention entire playoff series), we can conclude that he has likely never been present at the end of an NBA game. It follows, then, that this refusal to shake his opponents' hands is actually nothing new. In fact, LeBron James has never shaken the hand of another basketball player, and he doesn't intend to start now. (Whether or not he has ever shaken the hand of another person is, as of yet, undetermined.)
I believe I can explain this — and while I'm at it, crab dribbling and every other outlandish claim LeBron has made: He plays basketball in a make-believe world. It's true. He lives in La-La Land (are the Lakers charging him rent?). How else do you explain the fact that players don't shake hands at the end of the games he plays in?
More silly quotes, with my personal favorite being the part where he tries to convince us that he just hates losing that much:
"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."
Here's the thing: Ah, hell, there is no thing. We beat this dead horse to a bloody pulp the first time around. This is really just for the quotes, for your reading pleasure. And all it really tells us is, (a) that I have no idea what LeBron is talking about half of the time, and (b) that he is arrogant, out of touch, and delusional. But even that isn't really new.
Nothing under the sun is, right?