Usually I go for a run at this time, but since it decided to pour rain when I got off work, I’m reading sports articles instead. Unfortunately, everywhere I go, I find articles like this one. I’ve stated before that I just don’t like basketball, so this is venturing into unknown (and probably unwelcome) territory for me. Luckily for me, it’s not real basketball news; in fact, it’s not real news. It’s kind of dumb. If you haven’t heard already, LeBron James didn’t shake hands with anyone after the Orlando Magic beat James’ Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. He also didn’t show up to a post game press conference.
Story ends there, right? Of course not.
Should LeBron have shown some love to the Magic? Sure, I guess. That’s what protocol suggests.
Let’s step back for a second. If someone beats you in a hotly contested match of anything, don’t you want to shake their hand and show them the “respect” that everyone seems to love right now? No. You want to play again, immediately and you certainly don’t want to admit that they were better than you.
LeBron said later that he’s used to being a winner. Now, I wouldn’t have put it exactly in those terms, but yes, I can see what he’s getting at. LeBron and the Cavs expect to win. And they should. I wouldn’t want to play on a team that didn’t expect to win.
Plus, what’s so great about this magical handshake? Was he going to impart some great wisdom on Dwight Howard and spur the Magic on to beat the Lakers? No. Was it going to make Howard feel better about his accomplishment? No. Was it some step that had to be taken, like a rite of passage for the Magic? No. Then who cares?
There’s the old cliche, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Let’s face it, most post game handshakes are pointless anyway. It’s like a post game high five without any words spoken. Watch the next few matches of the French Open excluding the final, maybe. See what happens after the match. The participants will run up, briefly touch hands, turn to the referee, do the same and walk off the court. But what if that didn’t happen? Good heavens, the backlash would be incredible.
Again, when I lose at something, the very last thing I want to do is congratulate someone on beating me.
In baseball, the winning team will high-five each other and walk off the field, no matter who is the home team. World Series winners don’t congratulate the losers. And no one cares. I just don’t get why this matters.
I was unaware that there was any sort of handshake process after an NBA series, but that may be because I’ve never watched one. This is the first I’ve ever heard of a non-handshake. Hopefully, it’s the last time.