One of the things that we've tried to instill in the kids we're coaching youth cricket is sportsmanship. It's accepting a loss or bad decision with your head held high, and not using victories as a chance to taunt or mock your opponent.

Not easy when you see grown adults, some of whom are millionaires, being poor sports, and then not realizing when you're being a poor sport.

LeBron James, one of Nike's superstar pitchmen and maybe the best-known professional basketball player in the world right now, was part of the losing side in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

After each series, it's become custom for the two teams to shake hands and offer congratulations or condolences, and appreciation for everybody's contibutions on the floor. When the Cavaliers won their earlier two series, LeBron James was around to shake hands with his defeated opponents. However this time around he was nowhere to be found. After the final buzzer he made a beeline for the locker room.

His response later on:

"It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them," he said. "I'm a winner. It's not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you're not going to congratulate them. That doesn't make sense to me. I'm a competitor. That's what I do. It doesn't make sense for me to go over and shake somebody's hand."
It's one thing to be frustrated and disappointed. It's another to not realize that you're coming off as an immature brat by believing that shaking the opponent's hand after they defeat you doesn't make sense.

I don't think this guy knows what being a poor sport means. Or what a winner is.

I may have to bring up this example in the next training session. Fortunately there are still some sportsmen out there to emulate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post Gibbo! Unfortunately, I have seen this time of behavior in varying areas of athletics on the island. It's always important to be a bigger person and congratulate the winner, even if they are a poor sport and won't do the same to you if you beat them.