Before a game, LeBron James scours film, does workouts on and off the court, and tries to get as much context as possible on his upcoming opponent before tip-off.
He expects broadcasters to prepare as much as possible, too.
That’s the crux of James’ criticism of Glenn Consor, a Washington Wizards analyst who made an unfortunate error when calling a game-winning shot by Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. on Wednesday night.
The call: “You’ve got to give credit. Kevin Porter Jr., like his dad, pulled that trigger right at the right time.”
The issue: Kevin Porter’s father, Bryan Kevin Porter Sr., pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl in 1993, then was later shot to death himself in 2004.
Consor later apologized on social media, saying he had mistaken Kevin Porter Jr. as the son of Kevin Porter, the former Washington Bullets player who is 71 years old. Consor said he had reached out to Porter Jr. and hoped to personally apologize.
James tweeted about the incident, saying “there’s no place in our beautiful game for you!” After Thursday’s practice, the 37-year-old clarified his stance saying he wasn’t calling for Consor to be fired, but he felt whether his mistake was in good faith or not, he should be held accountable.
“What he said, no matter if he thought that that was his dad or not, was so insensitive and the words that he used,” James said. “We know the words that he used, I don’t even want to repeat it – it’s not even something that should be ever said.”
James is skeptical in part because he can pull at least four examples from his own life when he’s wondered if current athletes are related to former greats. In nearly 10 minutes of comments about the incident, James cited some cases when he did his own research, including if former teammate Isaiah Thomas was related to Detroit Pistons Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas (when Thomas was coming out of Washington) and if former Brooklyn guard Mike James was related to former Toronto Raptors guard Mike James (neither shares relations). In football, he looked up Marvin Harrison Jr. and Patrick Surtain II to see if they were related to past NFL players (both are the sons of their NFL namesakes).
James’ main research tool for these questions was Google – anyone could find out the answers to these questions, he said.
“Could (Consor) have made a mistake? Absolutely,” he said. “But in our job and our field, as professionals, we are in a professional league, you got to do your due diligence and do your job all the way to the point where, why did he even say that at the end of that game, anyway? Those words. So, I’m not taking back nothing I said.”
Part of the hurt comes from James’ relationship with Porter Jr., who started his career in Cleveland. He lasted just one season with the Cavaliers before getting cut after a locker room incident in which it was alleged that he threw food across the room. He had a similar outburst last week in Houston, when multiple outlets reported that Porter Jr. left the arena midgame after being called out in the locker room. The Rockets gave him a one-game suspension for the incident.
James has a soft spot for the Seattle-born guard who played sparingly at USC: “Kevin Porter Jr. looks up to me, and it’s my obligation to make sure that he knows that I have his back.”
James’ contention is that Consor’s call spoiled what was a career highlight for a struggling young player who has a complicated family history.
“This kid made a game-winning, step-three. Why are we talking about this?” he said. “It’s unfortunate for this kid who literally was sent home a couple of days ago. We paint pictures over this kid already, and now he has to deal with this.”
James did add that he didn’t think Consor should be fired for the “slip-up,” but that he didn’t want to quickly move on from it, either. He wants media held to a high standard to prevent similar errors in the future.
“Sometimes we heard the word ‘apologize’ and we just move the hell on,” he said. “We just move on. ‘On, he apologized.’ We move on. … I don’t always see it that way.”
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)