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LeBron skips player introductions on return to Cleveland

Mar 29, 2011, 10:21 PM EDT

LeBron James Getty Images

UPDATE 10:21 pm: In his post game interview, James said he was using the restroom during the introductions. Certainly a legitimate reason. We’ll just say again — and even Kevin McHale said the same thing on NBA TV — with all the games I’ve watched over decades I don’t remember that happening to anyone else. So take it how you will.

7:48 pm: Not sure I’ve ever seen this before.

During the player introductions for LeBron James second return to Cleveland, he ducked the players’ introductions.

When the Heat intros were taking place and it got to LeBron, the stadium announcer called his name but he was nowhere to be seen. There were plenty of boos but some confused faces as well. Follow this link for the video.

James entered on to the court when the lights were down for the Cavaliers introductions.

Who knows his motive (smart money says James says he was back getting something out of the locker room and couldn’t be there for player intros). And it’s really not that big a deal, but it’s going to feed into the LeBron hate that comes from Cleveland and other parts of the nation. And you can bet it’s going to be a story for the next 24 hours.

  1. jsarge99 - Mar 29, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    I believe “Cleveland doesn’t deserve me” was his motive.

  2. goforthanddie - Mar 29, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    He wanted to dodge the boos. Now he’s gonna get it nationwide 😀

  3. mikeinthevine - Mar 29, 2011 at 9:09 PM


    • pdub923 - Mar 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM


  4. rayflock34 - Mar 29, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    way to be a puss Lebron

  5. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - Mar 29, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    LMAO He sure knows how keep irritating those Cleveland fans and make headlines for some bullsh_t in the process. Should have just took it like a man and it would be over and done with.

    Now we get treated to a few days of nonsensical stories and speculation of why he did it Lucky us.

  6. florida727 - Mar 29, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Cavs win. Good. Now the Bulls are THREE games up on the Heat in the loss column with 9 to go.

    • pudgalvin - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:24 PM

      Might as well be four with the tiebreaker. Would be more than happy to let the Heat and Celtics duke it out in the second round.

  7. barklikeadog - Mar 29, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    What an *sshole!

    • purdueman - Mar 29, 2011 at 10:54 PM

      There’s a reason why La Bum is so widely despised throughout the country, but he’s a perfect fit for being paired with almost as disliked pompous Pat Riley. The guy simply has no class; I bet he was using the “restroom” all right… Manny Ramirez style… peeing on the side of the hallway wall leading to the court while not being man enough to take the booing. How pathetic!

  8. bukes111 - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    He’s either really petty for getting back at the Cavs for banning his entourage from the morning shootaround or just a coward. Wow!

  9. j0esixpack - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    Fitting, as LeBron figuratively pissed on Cleveland to take the Miami job in the first place. It’s just funny that he can’t take “the Heat” in Cleveland!

  10. mrcowpatty - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Now coming out of stall number 2, “it’ LaJohn James”

  11. zackd2 - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Man up dude.

    • purdueman - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:08 AM

      Rumor has it that just before the Heat were to be introduced, La Bum started to cry saying: “Mah-Mah! Mah-Mah!”. Then he left to go pee… on the wall in the tunnel leading to the court, of course.

      How gutless can you get?

  12. damp1015 - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Who cares if he skipped the intros? Really? People need to just move on to just watching the damn game. Yes his actions were inappropriate how he handled it going to South Beach but life goes on and Only God Can Judge Him. Lebron is Lebron as is Carmelo is Carmelo and the same for each athlete who chooses to leave to another place.

    • andyhr17 - Mar 30, 2011 at 6:13 AM

      People care because it shows a lot about his character.

      • hnirobert3 - Mar 30, 2011 at 7:51 AM

        I’d say his charity work to the Boys and Girls Club says a lot more about his character, but that would’ve make the headlines, right? Grow up.

      • alltimeballa - Mar 30, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        I think that the world is also learning alot about the character of Cavs fans too.

      • purdueman - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        hniro… I have no dog in this fight, but I think that your criticism is a bit off base.

        James “charity work/contributions” are I’m sure carefully managed by his agent and PR guy. He’s of course in the top income tax bracket and ANY agent who knows what they are doing will advise his client to take the tax shelter offered by charitable contributions. ANY PR guy worth their salt will also use those charitable contributions/work to maximize building his players public image too.

        What impresses me is what Jay Cutler has quietly been doing. Cutler has been working with the impoverished in Kenya WAY under the radar. He didn’t even tell his teammates where he was going or doing, and hasn’t sought ANY publicity for doing so… it’s coming straight from his heart. That’s a lot different than carefully staged photo op’s at children’s hospitals if you ask me.

        What though constitutes La Bum’s true character? Consider:

        * Totally blindsided and played the loyal Cav’s fans and stages a shameful publicity stunt to sign with Miami and truly stick it in Cav’s fans faces;
        * Continues to shrivel as the “go to” guy in crunch time. He ain’t no Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant in that regard, that’s for sure!;
        * Travels with a “posse”, otherwise known as a bunch of opportunist leaches who are maintained to isolate him from being annoyed by such things as having a kid ask for his autograph (heaven forbid!); and
        * Can’t man-up to face the anticipated booing and jeers upon his return to Cleveland by ducking the opening lineup into’s.

        Ya, that’s a real high character guy all right!

    • dysraw1 - Mar 30, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      u r right i dont care he missed the intros, but i luv that the cavs won.

    • savocabol1 - Mar 30, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      He is the only person to ever skip intros. He did it in Cleveland. The fact that you are saying it is no big deal means A) you are a Heat fan and of course are rooting for your team, or B) just flat out don’t get it.

  13. andyhr17 - Mar 30, 2011 at 6:12 AM

    Happens all the time. All the big stars like Jordan, Bird, and Magic skipped the player introductions because they didn’t want to be booed and get their feelings hurt…oh, wait….no. That never happened. Those guys were legitimate all around stars….not an egotistical a-hole who wants to be the best ever and have all the attention in the world….well, except the bad attention. He’ll pass on that.

  14. ijebu - Mar 30, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    I am not a Cav’s fan, but I think it’s time the people of Cleveland move on. Don’t forget, it’s strictly business decision for most of the players in NBA. Businesses move of out cities from time to time, and Lebron should be able to do so at the end of his contract. He could have been traded by Cavaliers as well. Hey, they need to suck it up, and live the guy alone. Basket game should be fun, and not an hostile environment for anyone. Players included.

    • pdub923 - Mar 30, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      Why are all the “Pro-LeBron” comments posted by people who can’t spell or write very well?

      • alltimeballa - Apr 4, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        Here is another “Pro-Lebron_ comment….Ive been to Cleveland and have family that still lives there. The last time I visited there, I saw an incredible amount of vacant, run down houses in many neighborhood. I think that instead of Cavs fans being angry because Lebron decided to play basketball in Miami, they should be upset with Gilbert for the part he played in the housing collapse that Cleveland is currently experiencing. Talk about someone screwing the fans….all Leron did was make you change your cheers to boos…Gilbert on the other hand has contributed to people losing their homes. Lebrons decision left you in a position where you can still choose to move on and cheer for others….Gilberts decision left many people in position where they couldn’t move anywhere because they are now HOMELESS!!!

      • purdueman - Apr 4, 2011 at 5:34 PM

        alltimeb…. We lost our house in the mortgage crisis primarily due to a period of extended unemployment caused by the big tax breaks Dubya gave US corporations to outsource a lot of their IT work to India, the Philippines and now China, which has had a major permanent negative impact on the high tech industry.

        The other reason why we lost our home was due to the total joke that is the Obama banking and mortgage crisis bailout plan (otherwise known as a free loan to big banks and financial institutions with few, if any, strings attached that have anything to do with home mortgage holders). During the crisis our bank was bought out by a much bigger bank who in turn would not only refinance our property, but to add insult to injury called in the loan. With now needed credit scores almost as good as God’s, there were no other financial institutions who would lend us the money to pay the mortgage off.

        Whatever the Cavs owner did or didn’t do is like a spit in the ocean when compared to how the current Administrationi has totally failed to step up to the plate. 60 Minutes on Sunday ran a piece that indicates we’re in for a second big mortgage crisis and likely resulting 2nd dip in the on going recession within the next 18 months too.

        Anybody who’s down and out needs an escape now and then in order to be able to take their mind off of their troubles; pro sports offers such an escape, but not when the best player and hometown hero rudely kicks the stool out from under those who have been so supportive and loyal.

        La Bum could have accepted more money in a sign and trade and not hurt the fans so badly and allowed them to move on without the drama hanging as to what he ultimately was or wasn’t going to do. Miami worked such a deal with Toronto for Bosh, and Chicago worked such a deal with Utah for Boozer too. What La Bum did simply lacked class.

        One last thing… no, we’re not crying in our beer about losing our home because we were “upside down” anyways with a high monthly payment. Since then the property has dropped another $80,000 in value, and required over $75,000 put into it just to be able to sell it. To finance the additional $155,000 would have been financial suicide for us.

    • BrownsTown - Mar 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

      What the hell are you talking about? I was at the game. He heard some boos, but nothing outside of a regular nemesis welcome (OK, maybe with some extra emphasis). Cleveland has moved on. We’re in full-on scouting mode pondering who will be drafted with the two lottery picks in June. LeBron is an afterthought and while I’ll admit it’s funny to see him fail, I don’t really keep up with the Heat or watch their games much. It’s just so easy to be kept up to date, as shown by sites like this.

      This is a story because LeBron did something, not Cleveland. Pay attention and stop repeating things you heard last December.

      On another note, as a fan who watched him for years, he’s missing that same explosiveness. Sure, he’s still one of the most athletic players in the NBA, but he didn’t seem to have the same unstoppable game. Where he used to throw it down at the rim, now he’s laying it off of the glass (and missing more than he should).

    • savocabol1 - Mar 30, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      How is Lebron not showing up for player intros meaning that Cavs fans haven’t moved on?

      Cleveland has moved on. We will forever boo him just like we will forever boo Art Modell. Writers that are not from the area don’t get that and publish articles that say otherwise. Read a paper from around here and try your hardest to find anything about Lebron (that wasn’t a nationally relevant topic going on for that day).

  15. ogyu - Mar 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    “In his post-game interview, James explained that he was using the restroom during the introductions.”

  16. Jeff Rowley - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    i think lebron is overrated as a player and a proven amateur at brand building aswell…but the one thing has surprised me more than anything is not the stuff he does. He is just some old looking, oversized KID in his early twenties making some laughable mistakes. what surprises me is how passionately irrational the lebron haters are, particularly the ones from cleveland…iv’e never seen so many people act like a bunch of bitter little girls who were once “in love” but got dissed,and are now hell bent on “getting back”…are you guys serious? have some self respect and quit giving him so much limelight you fatally attracted losers

    • purdueman - Mar 30, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      Jeff.. I totally agree with you in that La Bum is an overrated player, because (at least as of yet), he becomes a “shrinking violet” come crunch time, not something that you look for in your marque player for sure!

      I think though that you’re being too hard on Cav’s fans. Cav’s fans from all that I’ve read worshiped La Bum and rolled out the red carpet for him, as you know it’s been decades upon decades since any sports team in Cleveland won any championship, so he was their best “great hope”.

      I would like to think that all of the anger directed towards him is primarily over the shameless way that he pantsed Cavs fan after having led them to believe that there was a good chance that he would sign for more money than what the Heat or any other team was able to offer him under the NBACBA, then rubbed their noses in his decision with his circus like announcement (he did make a great clown under the big tent though, I’ll give Bozo James that much credit).

      If I were a Cavs fan I’d be really ticked off too, because the Cavs bent over backwards and made roster decisions that they likely never would have otherwise made in an attempt to try an hasten the baking time needed for a legit championship run (Shaq being the obvious “reach” in that attempt).

      So I view last nights return to Cleveland as being a kind of funeral venting on the part of the Cavs. Just like with the loss of a loved one, there has to be a grieving period and emotions let before the true healing can begin.

      • Jeff Rowley - Mar 30, 2011 at 9:59 PM

        see thats a good way to put things…take some jabs at the guy, back it up with intelligent analysis and leave it at that…you have to admit some of those jokers are way too caught up in this whole thing to remember that its still just a game and that nobody’s hopes and dreams should be so wrapped up in some spoiled kid…all the childish whiners tend to drown out the fans who want to vent on a level thats notso outta control

      • purdueman - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:26 AM

        Jeff: You are right. Solid post. I should know better than to gt into a pissing contest with a poster who appears to be little more than a greenhorn teenager. Have a nice night! I’m turning in myself.

    • goforthanddie - Mar 31, 2011 at 9:18 PM

      I wouldn’t call him over-rated. He’s a triple-double waiting to happen every night, and probably the best all-around player in the game. He IS way over-reported-on, and way too stupid to hand an open mic to. He’s Charlie Sheen w/o the drugs, just spouting ignorance. Fortunately, LeBitch has substituted his “posse” for drugs, so we still get the full effect.
      Realistically, LeBitch is no different than Lindsay Lohan: Both achieved fame way earlier than they could handle it, neither one has intelligent representation, and the world has more fun laughing at their latest foul-up than enjoying their product.

      • ocgunslinger - Apr 4, 2011 at 10:40 PM


        What you said……end of subject.

  17. Jeff Rowley - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    one more thing..i would love to see Clevelanders make a biiger deal out of the fact that one of the best coaches and coolest guys in the league got fired by a disloyal owner who was trying to kiss lebrons but…MB is truly classy and i think that was more of a diss than losing some spoiled kid to the heat…you guys in Cleveland need to stop letting a bunch journalists manipulate you into fanning the flame of lebron bitterness just so they can have something to write or talk about

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