We all know the face... that face that LeBron James makes when he squishes his eyes together and makes the pouty lips with an insane amount of wrinkles in his forehead. We all made that face as children when we were told no to an extra serving of ice cream; LeBron, however, seems to make this face about once a game. In a recent poll, LeBron James was voted the biggest whiner in sports, just ahead of guys like Cristiano Ronaldo, and Dwight Howard. In James' defense, he is often fouled, but no call is usually made in his favor, due to his enormous size and strength. With that in mind, when James does throw his tantrums, it is incredibly funny to see a man who is 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds acting the way he sometimes does.
There is nobody out there, in their right mind, who can question LeBron's talents as an athlete. His attitude and maturity on the other hand can, and have been questioned, on many occasions. Some LeBron defenders may be quick to point out that he was raised by a single parent, and he was never truly shown how to act like a professional. Others would say, he bypassed college and went straight to the NBA, so he missed the opportunity to mature into a man over the four years of schooling many other athletes experience.
These excuses hold little weight, and in the end LeBron is a grown man with children of his own, who act their age. There is no legitimate excuse for a man to act like a child as often as Mr. James seems to. He takes the idea of playing a kids game just a little too literal with some of his antics. Today we will review the 15 most childish moments of LeBron James' career thus far. I am certain that by the time his career is over, we will be able to write a completely new 15 things he has done. As always feel free to leave a comment in the section below, and tell us your opinion.
15 Tweeting At Kevin Love Indirectly
LeBron is known as "The King" and he has earned that title, but my question is, the king of what? To me LeBron is the king, when it comes to his passive aggressive approach to leadership. Last season LeBron had a problem with Kevin Love's involvement with the team, and rather than approach Love man to man, James took to social media.
James posted a message "Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts." A direct indirect message to his teammate; a true leader should not have to take to social media to lead his team.
14 Mocking Dirk Nowitzki
During his first season with the Miami Heat, LeBron helped get them to the NBA Finals, where they met Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk had been suffering from the flu during the Finals, but was still having a very good series. LBJ and his teammate Dwyane Wade were seen walking the halls of the arena mocking Dirk, with a phony cough and saying "it's hard to go from 85 degree weather, to 90." Dirk got the last laugh, as he and the Mavericks upended the Heat for the NBA Title that season.
13 Fan Bashing
As the "Heat hate" was going strong in his early years with the Miami franchise, it seemed like the pressure and dislike toward him was getting to James. He was quoted as saying:
“All the people that were rooting for me to fail… at the end of the day, tomorrow they have to wake up and have the same life that (they had) before they woke up today, they got the same personal problems they had today. And I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things I want to do.”
This was in response to people criticizing his attitude and approach to the game. James should realize, that the only reason he has such a great life is because of those fans he was speaking about.
12 Trash Talking With Spectator
James has a history of giving fans dirty looks, and sometimes a word or two. Just earlier this season, LeBron was hollered at by a fan, the fan told him to suck it up and keep playing ball. James shot the woman a hard look and continued to stare for at least five seconds straight. James later scored a basket and intentionally ran right in front of the same fan shouting as he ran by her.
11 Substituting Himself Out
Earlier this season, against the Atlanta Hawks, James decided he needed a break. Rather than motion to the coach to call a substitution, LeBron decided to sub himself out and just walked to the bench. The Cavaliers were given a technical foul for the act and James later apologized, something he should be getting pretty good at by now. It's almost as if James has no respect for his coaching staff. It seems like he pretty much runs the Cavs.
10 Refusing to Acknowledge Under Armour
LeBron is a Nike lifer, literally, he just signed a lifetime deal with Nike. When LeBron was asked a question about competitor Under Armour, James refused to answer the question, he even refused to say the companies name. James' response to the question was “Who? Who’s that,” James responded. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Who? The other guys. Yeah. I don’t know who that is.” Maybe this is just company loyalty, but it's not the way that a businessman handles himself in front of reporters.
9 Hand Choosing His Own Teammates
When LeBron decided to make his return to Cleveland before the 2014-15 season, he didn't want to do it alone. While negotiating his contract with the Cavs, LeBron demanded the team also sign his friends Mike Miller and James Jones. The Cavs obliged and LBJ got his way... again. There have been a few instances when James decided to play GM for the team, and so far the moves have not panned out as well as he thought they might.
8 Leaving Andrew Wiggins Out Of "The Letter"
When James decided to come back home to the Cavs, he made the announcement via a letter in Sports Illustrated titled, "Coming Home". It was a nice enough letter, with some heartfelt comments and real emotion shown by James towards his hometown.
James gave some love to his former teammates in Miami, and to some of the new guys he would be joining in Cleveland. One player he failed to mention was the Cavs' number one draft pick, Andrew Wiggins. James clearly wanted the team to trade Wiggins for a proven player, and that is exactly what happened. Another example of LBJ being passive aggressive toward his front office.
7 Jealous Of Steph
This season, Steph Curry has been setting the league on fire in ways never before seen. Many have suspected James is getting a little jealous of the shine being put on Steph by the media, and players alike. The league has belonged to LBJ for a decade now, and it seems it is time to begin the transition from James being the face of the league, to him being just another superstar. Kobe did it for LeBron, Jordan did it for Kobe, Magic did it for Jordan, and it is now time James does it for Curry.
6 Refusing To Move For The Raptors Dancers
The Cavaliers have a ritual this season, set in place by the King himself. As the game is getting ready to begin, the team takes their places on the court, and wait for their opponent to walk onto the floor; maybe an attempt at intimidation? In Toronto, earlier this year, the Raptors dance team was doing a routine before the game, and the Cavilers decided they wanted to take the floor at this time. While the Raptor dancers were trying to do their pre-game routine, LeBron was standing right in the middle of them acting as if nothing was going on around him.
5 No Dunk Contest
James is clearly one of the most athletic players in the game, and his dunk package ranks among the most electrifying of all-time. For this reason, and the fact that the fans have been clamoring for it since his debut season in 2003, LeBron should give the people what they want and participate in the slam dunk contest.
James has been adamant throughout his career that he will never do it, citing injury risk as the reason. All the greats have done the dunk contest from Dr. J, to Kobe, to Jordan, to Blake Griffin, to Vince Carter. LeBron should have given the people what they wanted years ago, and showcased his ability for the fans.
4 Coach Killing
Throughout his career James has had six different coaches, and he has not given any of them a ringing endorsement. James was even hesitant about Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra in Miami, and it was only when Pat Reilly gave Spoelstra the seal of approval that James was content with the situation.
James was directly or indirectly responsible for the David Blatt firing earlier this season, as well as the Mike Brown firing during his first stint in Cleveland. With the latest LeBron coaching change, there has been a more wide spread belief that LeBron is becoming a dreaded "coach killer" in the NBA.
3 Stealing Footage Of Him Being Dunked On
Every year James puts on a camp for up and coming basketball talent. High school and college kids from around the country are invited to the camp, and they participate in drills and scrimmage games. James himself even gets involved in some of the games with the students.
In 2009 a player named Jordan Crawford, who played at Xavier at the time, was a student at the camp. In a scrimmage Crawford slammed the ball over the top of LeBron in front of a crowd, and on camera. LBJ did not like that very much, so he had the footage confiscated and destroyed, however there are still some cell phone videos floating around on the web if you want to see James get dunked on.
2 Yelling At His Mother
In 2008 James was playing one of his rival teams, the Boston Celtics. On a fast break LeBron was wrapped up by Kevin Garnett and some other Celtics players. The tangled up group of players spilled into the crowd near LeBron's mother. She got up and attempted to get between the players, hollering at the Celtics players and telling them not to play so rough with her son. James is seen on camera screaming at his mother, telling her to "sit yo a** down." Does he talk to his own mother like that? I guess the answer is yes.
1 The Decision
As we all know by now, LeBron turned his back on his hometown after getting them very close to the promise land. James did not notify his hometown team of his decision prior to his ESPN special where he told the world he planned on "taking his talents to South Beach". The Cleveland fans were destroyed, the owner of the team even wrote a scathing letter about James, calling him all kinds of names. Some fans even burned James' number 23 jersey in the streets after the special aired. LeBron did make up for it when he came back to Cleveland two years ago, and he is still looking to make the redemption song complete, by bringing a Title to the city of Cleveland, and he likely will. He will do so in the role of player, coach, general manager, digital media director, and fan interaction specialist.