In sports, especially in crucial championship matches, players treat the games as war to be won, play their competitive best and give their all, even ferociously attacking the enemy if needed. If they win, players celebrate. If they lose a fair and square match, they mourn, and if they're gracious enough, they congratulate their conquerors, and then they move on. Then they look forward to fighting another season.
Lebron James, NBA MVP superstar and last season's champion, having been to various battles for sure knows sportsman-like behavior by heart. After all, he has been to the most wonderful triumphs and upset victories, as well as to devastating defeats. Too bad that when it comes to politics, James will not win titles or even praises for sportsman-like attitude. He's just an extreme, sore loser.
James' team, the Cavaliers, is set to play the New York Knicks on Wednesday so they've traveled to New York. The Cavs has a contract with Trump SoHo hotel on lower Manhattan for the team's accommodations. But guess what? It seems it is beneath James' superstar stature to stay in Trump's hotel. Being one of the highest-paid athletes not just in the NBA but across all sports globally, maybe James can afford to build and buy his own hotel- or even hotels- to avoid the prospect of staying in a hotel not of his liking.
Or perhaps staying in Trump's hotel is something James can not politically tolerate or accept. The team management has announced that James and several of his teammates have opted to stay in another undisclosed hotel.
Last season's champion and Finals MVP publicly endorsed and campaigned for Hillary Clinton with about a month to go in the campaign, saying she represents the ideals of his ' good friend' President Barack Obama and could continue his programs as well. The Cavs were even feted and honored by Pres. Obama at the White House last month for their title, the first for any Cleveland team since 1964. Good for James if he has such a bromance going on with Obama, nothing wrong with that. But Hillary lost and Trump won.
Several of James' teammates including Richard Jefferson and Iman Shumpert have also expressed their disappointment over Trump's amazing upset victory.
Honoring the team's prior arrangements with Trump's hotel regardless of his hurt feelings over the election result would have shown that James can be humble and gracious in defeat as he is magnanimous in victory. It could have given him the chance to exhibit his sportsman- like demeanor. He could have been a good role model in illustrating the need for acceptance, moving on and forging unity.
Instead, James chose to be divisive, perhaps failing to realize that while he has supporters who went for Hillary, he has just as many, if not more fans who voted for Donald Trump.
Unlike basketball or any sports where people are fervently separated by team affiliations and colors, in politics, after the election there is just one team: Team America. After the bitterly fought campaign, Americans should come together to rebuild the country. President-elect Donald Trump has been doing his share by calling for unity and reaching out even to those who opposed and tried to demolish him during the campaign. Petty protests and the resistance to accept the result of a fair election are not helping the country move forward and reclaim old glory.
Too bad Lebron James missed that chance to show he could be just as great outside the basketball court-a true champion when and where it matters. Instead, he showed he's just another crybaby, a sore loser unable to go beyond his ego.