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Just A Kid From Akron

LeBron James bolting early (again) and not shaking his buddy Chris Paul's hand is the toughest of scenes

June 04, 2021

For the first time in a decade, the Phoenix Suns are moving on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Unfortunately for them, though, that's not the main story coming out of their 113-100 Game 6 close out victory.

The story, as always, is what LeBron James did, or, what he didn't do in the immediate aftermath of the first first-round playoff ouster of his illustrious NBA career. Once again, he bolted early, though this time he actually waited until the game ended unlike Game 5, when he made a b-line to the locker room with over five minutes to play as his teammates were being pummeled into submission. The excuse? He was going to get treatment, or something. 

In Game 6, however, The King stuck around for the full 48, likely because it wasn't too big of a blowout so he sort of had to. Once that buzzer sounded though, he was OUT, forgoing the congratulatory daps and hugs with his opponents that we all know James would expect in return if the roles were reversed: 

Oof. No love for Chris Paul, your boy? Banana boat squad? Tough scene, to say the least. 

LeBron stans, who move faster than Usain Bolt when it's time to defend the kid from Akron's sore loser actions, were quick to point out that stuff like this is done all the time by others and we all ignore it. Those people are 1 billion percent correct. The key difference there is LeBron James is ... bare with us now ... held to a much higher standard because he's LeBron James. This may shock you but no one cares if Kyle Kuzma heads to the locker room early. They do care if Bron Bron does. 

All that said, James has every right to be pissed. Losing in the first round is obviously brand new to him, and it occurred in pretty embarrassing fashion. Just a little love for CP3 in the postgame is all anybody is asking, though. Don't worry, he did make sure to get a nice photo with Devin Booker afterward, and out of the kindness of his heart gave Booker his signed jersey:

Very cool stuff. LeBron definitely won't make Booker's future playoff success about him, and he definitely won't run this picture back on his Instagram if Booker goes off next series. Will not happen.