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Here’s a tip. If you’re going to heckle someone, heckle smart.

Feb 13, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

New Orleans Hornets v Miami Heat Getty Images

So on Friday in Detroit, some genius decided to start making Valentine’s Day jokes at LeBron about his mother. You know the gag. You’ve seen these types of guys before. Acting as if they’re doing something fun, or trying to get at a player as if that’s righteous, when in reality, they’re just trying to draw attention away from someone famous onto themselves. It’s like an attention parasite. It’s not funny (usually), it’s not brave, and it’s pretty ridiculous. You see the same thing in media when a writer takes a bombastic stance just to get pageviews and look like an “outlaw.” It’s pretty much the model of immaturity, but it is what it is.

Anyway, James took offense, and actually responded to the man. Now, James gets heckled in every city he goes to. Night after night, year after year, he takes abuse. And he gets paid a lot of money to take that abuse, and he’s brought a measure of it on himself with his own behavior at times. But this was a little different. Why did James decide to respond? ESPN fills us in:

This is the moment when you need to know that what was said isn’t as important as why it was said. First, any insulting reference made about anyone’s mother is out of line. Secondly, LeBron’s kids were seated a few feet away, near the Heat’s bench. So LeBron was not only insulted about his mother, he felt his kids were also insulted by the reference made about their grandmother.

I’m not even sure LeBron Jr., 6, and Bryce, 3, heard or understood the heckler. And I’m confident the heckler didn’t know LeBron’s kids were there, let alone within earshot of his remark. But that’s not the point. I’ve seen, firsthand, how LeBron has ignored much more vile comments in the past.

via LeBron James draws a line in the sand – Heat Index Blog – ESPN.

Yeah, talking about a kid’s grandmother with him sitting a few rows away is not cool. Those kids haven’t done anything to anyone, and there’s no excuse for putting them through something like that. Sure, the genius was probably unaware of the kids’ presence. But that’s the point. Before you start saying those things, perhaps you should think about saying it to him when he’s not in uniform, if he’s just on the street, with his kids. It’s a fan’s right to boo. But there’s got to be some sort of limit on the conversation.

That doesn’t exist with James. For some reason, leaving Cleveland in the middle of the night on national television to go play with two better basketball players is the ultimate crime. Forgetting the historic precedent for what James did, and the vast number of heartless jerks that have played professional basketball through the years, just think back through the past, oh, say ten years. Think of all the horrible things athletes have done. But this, for some reason, makes people think they’re entitled to make comments about a guy’s family, the only parent he ever had, in front of his kids.

I’m not saying James doesn’t deserve it. I’m saying there’s no excuse for the behavior under any circumstances.

Now, as far as what James said, it, of course, doesn’t make sense.

“I don’t care what you say to me,” James told the heckler. “I don’t give a [expletive] what you say. But don’t be disrespectful.”

So, you can say whatever you want, but you can’t say anything disrespectful. That’s kind of the point of heckling, there, LeBron. James would have probably done better to say “My kids are four rows away. You make another comment, and I’ll make sure you never see another game in this building.” Pistons players would back him up on that.

ESPN’s Michael Wallace is right, though. James showed a vulnerability to the comments. Which means there may be more of them. And they may be in Boston, today.


  1. djeg07 - Feb 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    his mom was great last night….lol, he deserves everything he gets pre madonna, and a fake. did jordan ever get ragged on? bird barkley, majic? oh kobe he ever get ridiculed? this punk needs to shut up an not dog game 5 in the celtics series last year, or try to get coaches fired.

  2. jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Only a punk-loser needs to heckle a player about his Mom, and there are plenty of them. The haters are jealous of the success LeBron has earned, while they suffer through a miserable existence. If I were at the game, I would have engaged the heckler in some serious mortal combat. Punk-losers need to be put in their place for a change.

  3. m4a188 - Feb 13, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    I’m sure anything he was saying was not far from the truth.

    • djeg07 - Feb 13, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      i agree his momma is no saint, after all she was reportedly involved with delonte west…you can keep the video if one ever is produced.

      • genericcommenter - Feb 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM

        I agree djeg07 is a scumbag- after all he allegedly beat his wife when she caught him sodomizing the dog, allegedly.

        ( same type of comment)

  4. breesus504 - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    James deserves some credit here. Artest would have jumped into the stands….

  5. louistaylored - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Umm I do agree it is disrespectful and an out of line comment, but its a person in the stands man c’mon. A no-name nobody who’ll you’ll probably never seen again and has little to no significance to you. So watever he says just let it go. Because their has been worse remarks. For example, when Derek
    Fisher left the Jazz and came back on the Lakers people were heckling and not just any type I mean making rude remarks about his daughter who has cancer! Yeah, the Lebron thing doesnt seem so bad now, but Fisher just ignored it and made em shut up the only way he knew PLAY BASKETBALL!. So Im just sayn he should’ve let it go because it does nothing to pay it any attention

  6. jesuscakes - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Typical Pistons fan. I am not big on LeBron, but he handled it with class when confronted by white trash. We’re lucky the pos didn’t throw a beer and start another brawl.

    • silencegooddoer - Feb 14, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      Do you call dropping an “F” bomb in front of his kids “classy”? REALLY????

  7. otisls - Feb 13, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    fans can cheer and boo a player’s on court performance; comments about one’s family, which are designed to affect a player’s performance, are off limits; those fans should be escorted from the premises;

  8. zackd2 - Feb 13, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    “And they may be in Boston, today.”

    Did Delonte heck Lebron about his mom from the bench?

  9. goforthanddie - Feb 13, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    More and more, day by day, I want this cryin’ ass whinefest to have a long, healthy career…and never win a title.

    • hnirobert3 - Feb 14, 2011 at 7:52 AM

      You live a sad life if “more and more, day by day” you worry about LeBron and him not winning a championship.

  10. ashaway12 - Feb 14, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    Lebron sucks. If he cares so much about his kids maybe he shouldnt have them sit front row on the road in a notoriously hostile city (artest melee anyone?) This egotisitcal prick thinks he and his family can just do whatever the hell he wants. Its one thing to have your kids sitting courtside in Miami, but Lebron has been hearing stuff all year, why would he think Detroit would be any different and it would be ok for his kids to hear that? You got the cash Bron, put them up in a box. Just another parent who wants to blame everyone but themselves for poor parenting.

    • silencegooddoer - Feb 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Well said! Great point!

  11. philriverslovespenis - Feb 20, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    “I don’t care what you say to me,” James told the heckler. “I don’t give a [expletive] what you say. But don’t be disrespectful.”
    Is what you did to C town “respectful,” LeBron? Is it? I realize you played out your contract and it was your choice to stay or to leave, but I’m not sure that televising your “decision” to bail out of a city/state that loved/needed you more than anything is all tha “respectful.” I hope that LeBron goes down as the best player in the history of the NBA… never win a ring.

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