Childish. Immature. Classless.
LeBron James' sudden – and quiet – exit after the Cleveland Cavaliers lost in the NBA's Eastern Conference finals to the Orlando Magic proves he's all three.
He did not shake the hands of the victors and left the arena without talking to reporters. Or his Nike sponsors.
Had the Cavaliers won, no doubt he would have been pretending like he was a class act, up on the press podium wearing a suit, saying nice things about his team and the opponent. But by disappearing – the so-called "King" racing across the moat and raising the drawbridge – he proved he's nothing more than a spoiled child.
Some people will argue that he was just too emotional, is too much of a competitor to face things at that time. That losing hurt too much. Baloney! He's a child, spoiled by all the attention and money. He's also not a champion, nor his he a winner. Because a champion can handle defeat as well as victory.
A true sportsman congratulates the victor (and in this case, the Magic proved to be the superior team) and faces the music afterward. A true sportsman stands tall before the media, says he and the team tried, but they were not the best on this given night, or against this opponent. A true sportsman wins with class and loses with class.
So whatever becomes of LeBron, be it he stays in Cleveland or goes on to a place like New York, so be it. I just hope the fans and media remember this child's classless behavior. Maybe the people in New York will even call him "LeBum" instead of LeBron.
Kevin Wilkerson covered sports for the Savannah News-Press where he won an AP award for investigative journalism.