Few basketball players go out of their way to avoid confrontation quite like LeBron James. Sure, he’s willing to, um, sell contact – especially when it’s at the hands of a teammate, as we learned on Saturday night – but whenever a scuffle breaks out during a game because someone fouls him hard, Jams will either walk away or try to pull his teammates out of the fray. He never reacts with his own foul on an opposing player, he just brushes stuff off and goes about his business.
Which brings up the question: why is James so willing to walk away from conflict and ignore physical play, especially when things are starting to escalate? A reporter asked James this question after the Cavaliers’ Game 3 loss to the Toronto Raptors, and James responded by channeling lyrics from the song “The Streets is Watching” by Jay-Z.
“I always think back to the Jay-Z phrase and a line he had,” James said. “‘If I shoot you, then I’m brainless. If you shoot me, you famous. What am I to do?'”
He does make a good point, as nothing good can come from James retaliating to a hard foul or some dude getting right in his face. If he were to get ejected for something like that, it would be almost impossible for the Cavs to overcome losing their best player. Even if he doesn’t get ejected, showing that an opponent is getting under his skin isn’t a great look for James.
The moral of the story is that if you’re an NBA player, don’t try to provoke LeBron James in any way, because he won’t retaliate in any way.