LeBron James faces backlash over his locker room interview after the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to Golden State Warriors during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
After their second consecutive loss against the Warriors, LeBron James reportedly abstained from doing the podium interview — something considered as “customary” during the NBA Playoffs or Finals.
Apparently, LeBron James has grown “frustrated” with the press conference protocol, prompting him to answer questions inside the Cavaliers’ locker room instead.
No More Podium For The King
Recently, Cleveland Cavaliers’ star player LeBron James appeared to be serious with his no-podium interview during the NBA Finals. According to reports, King James has decided not do any post-game interviews at the media conference podium for the time being.
True enough, LeBron James skipped the podium at practice on Saturday and again after they lost to the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. However, the former MVP pointed out that the reason behind it has nothing to do with their consecutive losses.
“Yeah, there’s a reason. It’s got nothing to do with wins and losses though.”
After the Cavs’ Game 2 loss, LeBron James allegedly did not bother to attend the podium interview. Instead, the star player took questions standing in the visitor’s locker room. LeBron James also appeared to be in a bad mood as he answered queries briefly and a bit feisty while looking quite serious.
"They're a different team. You guys asked what was the difference and I told you…"
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 5, 2017
Although LeBron James has not elaborated on why he opted to do interviews in the Cavs’ locker room, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed that the NBA superstar feels “frustrated having to wait to go to the podium a few times recently.”
Sources claimed that LeBron James was “upset over having to wait for the Warriors to finish talking after Game 1.”
During the NBA Playoffs, each team’s coach and at least a star player answers questions in an interview at a podium and will be broadcasted by the NBA’s TV partners. Usually, the winning team will be interviewed first, thus making the opposing team wait for their turn.
It can be recalled that LeBron James started ditching his podium interview session on Saturday. According to reports, he took questions on the Warriors’ practice court while Kevin Durant was still speaking at the podium. However, sources close to LeBron James claimed that his move was not meant to insult Kevin Durant.
Meanwhile, many were quick to slam LeBron James for his no-podium interview decision amid their Game 2 loss against Golden State Warriors. Some claimed that the star player is being “unprofessional” and “bitter.”
Lebron not coming to the podium? Salty??? #nbafinals
— Eddie Williams (@RealEWilliams) June 5, 2017
The self proclaimed @KingJames decided his post game interview would not be at the podium after another blowout loss. Sore loser.
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) June 5, 2017
LeBron James, The Prized Jewel
During the end of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, a wild brawl erupted just feet away from LeBron James. According to reports, the Cavs were making their way to the tunnel at Oracle Arena when three supporters started fighting, causing a commotion.
J.R. Smith immediately pushed LeBron James away from the brawl, who appeared to be taken aback. Apparently, Smith intentionally pushed the NBA superstar to safety because he wanted to ensure his safety first, especially since he’s the team’s “prized jewel.”
“It was close, too close. Yeah, I pushed him. I wanted to be sure he was out of there. He is the prize jewel right there. It doesn’t matter if I get hurt. It matters if he gets hurt.”
Smith added, “I wouldn’t so much say it was scary. I remember basketball games in the projects when I was growing up you see that kind of thing. But you don’t really want it happening here.”
Eventually, security responded to the commotion, separating the men involved.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals ended with Golden State Warriors dominating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 132-113.
The Cavs' postgame court exit was interrupted by a fight between fans pic.twitter.com/BwrxtwFtnH
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 5, 2017
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]