A lot of people were scandalized over LeBron James' refusal to shake hands after the Cavs had been eliminated from Finals contention. Brendan Haywood is one of them. In his most recent blog entry, he writes:
I think he made a mistake by not shaking hands or doing interviews. He has to learn to be a better sportsman than that because of what he represents -- not just our league but athletes in general.
And there can be no doubt that LeBron was frustrated, and you can see it in this recent interview.
Brendan believes this is not an isolated incidence for LeBron. That on the contrary, it' part of a larger pattern of poor sportsmanship:
One thing that people don't realize is that I think he didn't shake the hands of the Boston Celtics last year when they eliminated his Cavs from the playoffs. (I may be wrong, but I certainly don't remember him doing it). If this is a pattern, then it's even more alarming and he's got to realize it and be better than that.
Brendan concludes his post with a little man-to-man advice. "Take is from one who knows" style:
It's also hard for me to criticize because a few years ago, I was placed in a similar situation and did the same thing LeBron did. I was in a playoff series and my team was losing and on top of that I wasn't getting any playing time because my coaching staff didn't feel the need to play me. I was frustrated and when our team lost the series, I walked off the court and didn't shake my opponents' hands. I was extremely wrong and want to take the opportunity to apologize to my Washington Wizards fans, teammates, opponents and whoever else was offended by my actions. I hope at some point, LeBron can look back and do the same thing...
Luke Walton, on the other hand, thinks that LeBron's failure to shake hands falls squarely into the No Big Deal category:
I've experienced similar frustrations even after regular season losses. I have a good friend, Brian Cook, who plays for the Rockets and after a game we played against Houston one time, I was so frustrated that I just took off without even saying what's up to him afterward. I waited until the next day before I called him. When you're competitive and you're trying your hardest to win, you get frustrated and angry. I don't look at LeBron walking off as that big of a deal. I can relate to his frustration.
LeBron's got a blog. He can chime in any time he wants.