LeBron James: Hate The Player, Not His Mother

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There are a host of reasons why basketball fans might have it out for LeBron James. His contract nearly exceeds the GDP of several sub-Saharan African nations, and yet he just can’t seem to win a championship. And then there’s the small matter of that hideous ESPN special where he kept everyone on pins and needles for the sake of his own ego, only to announce to his rabid fans in Cleveland that he was packing up stakes and moving to Miami so he could continue to not win a championship in a warmer climate.

So it would take an awful lot to make LeBron into a sympathetic figure. And it looks like an obnoxious heckler has done just that by going after LeBron’s mother. At a recent game between the Heat and the Wizards, some guy named Bob Moore started taunting James about the now-ancient rumor urban that former James teammate Delonte West was involved with James’ mother Gloria.

And NBC Washington’s Sarah Kogod then tweeted the ensuing verbal altercation:

Accrding to Moore, LeBron said “The only reason you talk [expletive] is because you know I can’t come off the court right now and beat your ass”

Also according to Moore, LeBron continued “But if I had a free pass, I’d kick your ass right now.”

Moore replied “I’m right here baby. Let’s go” before security stepped in.

The next day, Kogod tweeted something to the effect that she didn’t think it was acceptable for any player to engage a heckler in this fashion. As a general rule, it’s not good to feed the trolls. But come on, the guy went after James’ mother.

There are many, many reasons to think that LeBron James might be a jerk or prone to making ill-advised decisions. But the fact he’s emotional about defending his mother’s honor might be one of the few things about the guy that makes him worth rooting for on a personal level.