NBA superstar LeBron James won’t be playing in the NBA postseason. That’s just strange, frankly. Because that doesn’t happen. It’s been nine years, after all, since LeBron James hasn’t played in an NBA FINALS — let alone the playoffs. Staggering, that. So you might cut James a little slack when, during a game where his particularly futile 4th quarter (he missed 11 shots) contributed to a Lakers loss at Madison Square Garden, the King wasn’t in the mood to socialize. But when James sat alone at the end of the bench — isolated, unapproached and presumably unnapproachable — it struck the great Knicks legend-turned-announcer Walt “Clyde” Frazier as bad optics. (See video below.)
“This type of behavior is not… when you’re the face of the NBA I think you should be more a part of your team, ” said Frazier. “No matter what is going on in the public you gotta be a part of the team. Maybe in the locker room, you’re not, but you have to exude that type of togetherness in public, folks. And right now we see he doesn’t really care.”
It’s important to point out that Frazier is no LeBron basher. Frazier is widely respected for calling it it like he sees it and being pro-player. In that moment James just wasn’t feeling (obviously) like getting all rah-rah with his team. He’s in a place he rarely travels — it’s called out of the playoffs. And who can blame him? Frazier is essentially calling on James to do some frontin’ — “to put up a facade or make appearances, typically to impress or in some way deceive to maintain image, ” according to the Urban Dictionary. But James has always said he won’t front, and here he’s not pretending (or fronting) that he’s happy and excited about the Lakers. Should he front for the whole NBA? For the kids watching? Should King James get in the huddle? There is no right answer, only opinions.
Clyde Frazier just absolutely tipping LeBron James pic.twitter.com/bPxksMADBm
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) March 17, 2019