Where’s Waldo? No, where’s LeBron James? The legend in his own mind disappeared early again Sunday after -- or during -- the sound thrashing the Lakers took from New Orleans. He could not be found on the court as the game was ending, which has become a trend for the game’s so-called GOAT and the team’s so-called leader.
The captain among NBA all-stars, James walked off the court Sunday in the Lakers blow-out loss to the dreadful Pelicans.
Bron out pic.twitter.com/uHKEXlipHt— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) February 28, 2022
Isn’t the captain the person who refuses to abandon ship? Captains are supposed to be the "leader on the team who can inspire other players and even help players improve their athletic performance,” said basketball writer Chris Davis.
There’s an old saying that expresses how captains are responsible for everyone on-board – especially in times of distress: "The captain goes down with the ship." LeBron never heard that phrase before. He got his 32 points Sunday, and with the game lost, the “ship” all but sunk, he sulked off the court with time remaining on the clock.
It’s not the first time James quit on his team. As the Lakers were going down to defeat against Phoenix in last year’s playoffs, James abandoned his teammates. He also walked off a playoff game against Miami in 2020. In 2019, James left his teammates on that sinking ship in a loss to Milwaukee while he hit the showers early. Two months ago, LeQuitter bailed again in a loss to Memphis. Notice a trend here?
Michael Jordan never ever quit on his team. He was the epitome of a leader, challenging and pushing his teammates. That’s why the Chicago Bulls went 6-0 in NBA Finals – because their leader, basketball’s real GOAT refused to quit.
Yet, in LeQuitter’s warped thinking, he believes he is the greatest of all-time, and it’s all about the self and his personal satisfaction. In a recent conversation with TNT’s Kenny Smith, he described the exact moment he knew he was the GOAT.:
"At that moment I was like, I'm the greatest basketball player people have ever seen. In all the facets. Like, I could play them 1 through 5, I can guard 1 through 5, you know, just literally like doing something that's never been done in the history of the sport. I mean, teams that go down 3-1 were zero for like 32 in finals history. There's nobody coming out of that. And nobody gave us a chance. I just felt like, ain't nobody better than me at this. I felt like Jay-Z when he made The Blueprint."
This reads more like the definition of a narcissist than basketball’s GOAT. He’s a sore loser who’s not at all concerned about being a team role model.
Larry Brown Sports called James’ latest early exit “an unsportsmanlike move from the Lakers. True sportsmen stay until the end and give the respect to their opponent of acknowledging defeat.
“Of course they are upset about losing, but that’s part of the game. If you don’t want to lose because it’s painful, then play better next time.”
Los Angeles fans heartily booed the team "led" by LeQuitter James Sunday after the team’s record dipped to 27-33. ESPN called it a new season low for the Lakers, but could not bring itself to mention LeQuitter’s early walk-off, as major sports outlets typically protect him.