LeBron James should soak his sore loser in an hot epsom salt bath.
According to LeBron James, you can't be a sore loser as long as you're really, really competitive (or if, by nature, you're a winner—who just happened to lose). Got that, kids? Despite what may have looked like poor sportsmanship, His Highness "King James" was just being really competitive when he walked off the court Saturday night without shaking hands after the Orlando Magic beat his Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. He was merely competing with Magic star center Dwight Howard, a buddy with whom he won an Olympic gold medal in Beijing last summer, by not offering him so much as an awkward ass slap in passing. That was just his will to compete showing when he slipped out of Orlando's Amway Arena without giving reporters a post-game interview. And if you buy that, we've got a Kobe vs. LeBron ad campaign to sell you too.
James is one of the NBA's biggest stars, so his juvenility stands out, but he's far from the only grown man in the league to act like a snot-nosed eight-year-old with doo-doo stains on his shorts when things don't go his way. Not that we blame dudes. All that youth league shit about being a good sport is just to keep the child-on-child homicide rates down. And besides, when you've got millions, you can afford to act like you weren't raised right. In honor of King James's snub of the Magic, Complex remembers a few of the NBA's sorest losers over the years...
THE DETROIT PISTONS
• When it became clear that they'd lost the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas flashed one of his trademark phony smiles and led the Bad Boys right off the court without congratulating Michael Jordan on making it to his first NBA Finals. The game hadn't even ended, but hey, at least they beat the buzzer!
THE NEW YORK KNICKS
• Displeased that Denver Nuggets coach George Karl was continuing to play his starters in the fourth quarter while blowing out the Knicks in New York, coach Isiah Thomas (hello again!) told his players to foul them hard. On a Nugs fast break, bench player Mardy Collins mauled J.R. Smith, leading to a brawl that got ten players ejected. That would have counted as two L's in one night, but the Knicks didn't have any respect to lose in the first place.
• Tired of answering questions about why his Sacramento Kings always lose to the Lakers in the playoffs, C-Webb took it to the genitalia, equating the queries to kicking a man in the balls while he's down (or rather when his woman is going down on the next man). That would actually make him a "sores winner."
• Even after losing in a game six blowout to the Lakers in this year's Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets guard refused to acknowledge that L.A. might be the superior team, declaring his Nugs better "pound for pound." He's right, of course. We haven't seen someone take a pounding that professionally since Kobe Tai.
• In early 2009, after a well-past-his-prime Shaquille O'Neal dropped 45 points on the Toronto Raptors in a 20-point blowout, the Raps' Chris Bosh gave the Diesel credit—for cheating. Perhaps Shaq was guilty of a couple three-second violations, camping out in the lane, but Bosh clearly violated the NBA's rule that nobody with a vagina should play