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LeBron James uses word “retarded” in interview, quickly apologizes

Jan 30, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT

Duke v Miami Getty Images

Back in 2011 during the playoffs after a win over Boston, LeBron James found himself in a little hot water when during an interview he thought a question asked Dwyane Wade was lame and muttered under his breath “that’s retarded” and the mics picked it up. Retarded was (and in some circles is) a word thrown around a lot, but if you are using it you intend it as a demeaning insult to something or someone seen as stupid, not as a word to describe a condition (by federal standards that term is “intellectual disability”). It’s a word that is an outdated insult.

LeBron let the word slip out again on Wednesday night, in an interview before Miami went out on the court and got thumped by the Oklahoma City. He quickly apologized after the game.

Here is now Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post described it.

An hour or so before losing 112-95 to Oklahoma City, James was asked about Thunder forward Kevin Durant’s improvement as a passer and replied, “I actually think that’s a pretty funny thing when people say ‘people’s growth of passing the ball.’ That is retarded to me. Kevin Durant’s growth of being a passer? That’s part of basketball.”

Before taking questions after the game, he opened by saying, “I used the word ‘retarded’ before the game. Obviously it had nothing to do with kids that are underprivileged. It’s no knock on them. It’s a word that’s been around for a long time where I grew up. It’s a bad habit. I’ll try to break it. If I use it again– I’m gonna try to do my best not to. I mean no disrespect.”

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This “controversy” is really more of a Rorschach test than anything — what you think this says about LeBron and his character really says more about what you think about LeBron than anything else.

  1. azarkhan - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Nauseating political correctness strikes again.

    • antistratfordian - Jan 30, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      You ungrateful little whiney brat. Remember what this country was like when it’s citizens weren’t as polite and considerate towards minorities of every kind? Most people who were alive then don’t want to.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:07 AM

        Don’t use the word “brat”. It’s derogatory to spoiled children.

  2. lolnfl - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    all this means is he uses the word outside of basketball and he let it slip

  3. gerryb323 - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM


  4. nicofthenorthstar - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    I feel like a ret@rd for taking the time to read that.

  5. connorchew - Jan 30, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    the power of words are given by the people who are offended by it.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jan 30, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      I agree but I’d say the real power comes from the pansies who apologize for their words after they use them correctly.

  6. fanofevilempire - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    He apologized so please move on, he didn’t stab anyone to death, cans I type stab. I
    wouldn’t want to offend those how have been stabbed. I apologize in advance.

  7. bougin89 - Jan 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    I won’t blast Lebron for this like Antistratfordian would blast a Pacer player/Kobe if they said this.

    Lebron slipped up. I’d bet most of us have used this word like he did and probably regretted it.

  8. cantonbound13 - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Roid rage

  9. shanelsweet - Jan 30, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    I did not know that saying something like “that’s a retarded thing to do or say” isn’t OK? Am I OK if I say “that’s a stupid thing to do or say”? ‘Cause that’s the same thing isn’t it? I don’t mean to offend the folks with an intellectual disability.

  10. rdav29 - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    That’s a pretty retarded apology

  11. 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jan 30, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    im offended by all english words, can we all just stop using the enlish language…gracias,

    • theromeo2k - Jan 30, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      LOL!! Funniest comment I’ve seen in a while!!!

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      I’m offended by your use of a foreign language. I guess all forms of communication must cease immediately.

  12. bigmeechy74 - Jan 30, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    It’s part of our language. We’ve all used it for years. It will take years for it to get phased out. Everyone needs to calm down and stop the PC crap

  13. eugenesaxe1 - Jan 30, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    I dare say “Hitler” is way more offensive than “retarded”, but nobody ever complains about it.

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