Instead, he headed straight for the locker room after the Golden State Warriors drubbed LeBron’s Cavs in a series sweep. Here’s a look at the moment.
LeBron did do a round of fist-bumps and high-fives when he left the game with four minutes left. Surely knowing he wouldn’t be going back into the blowout, LeBron quickly congratulated the Warriors who were on the floor.
But it was a strange moment. The game wasn’t over, yet LeBron conceded victory. He also stalled play while he walked around to give congratulations. Then he got a standing ovation from the crowd as they chanted, “MVP.” Essentially, this was LeBron’s public gesture, so he could duck out of the building early.
It’s hard to criticize LeBron for his strange brand of sportsmanship. (And LeBron is 3-6 in the NBA Finals. I guess he knows how to lose them better than everyone save Elgin Baylor. Sorry, too mean?)
But it was a weird and jarring departure. He didn’t stick around for his teammates — he abandoned them on the floor. He didn’t stick around to thank the fans — nor to let them thank him. He congratulated only a few Warriors, and it was for a game which they hadn’t won yet.
With LeBron mulling his contract option, his quick exit from the floor in Cleveland might serve as a harbinger of what might come in free agency.
Another quick exit may be on the horizon.