So by now we all know LeBron came out of last night’s fourth quarter with leg cramps, and the Heat went on to lose the game. Naturally, the Twitter Doctors didn’t think this was a sufficient enough injury to be pulled from a Finals game. Here are some unsurprising reactions:
I can't think of a single elite athlete that would sit out of their sport's highest championship because of cramps. Lebron so soft.
— Alec Mooradian (@ThatMeridianKid) June 6, 2014
Bill Brasky had 2 broken legs, a severed head, and his body was literally on fire. He played. LeBron can't play with a cramp? No heart.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) June 6, 2014
MJ would have fixed the air conditioner last night Lebron is soft he just doesn't want to win like Jordan did go spurs go
— Will Conway (@WilliamConway33) June 6, 2014
^(That last one takes the cake)
This got me thinking, LeBron probably only gets this treatment because Twitter gives everyone a chance to share their #Hottakes right? Well what if Twitter was around some other star athletes sat in big games? What would everyone say? Here’s a few examples:
Scenario: 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals, tie game, fourth quarter. Scottie Pippen says “I’m tired of this,” and sits down. Oh boy.
“Pippen is SOFT. Cant win without MJ!!! #Scared #BUM”
“Whut the hell wuz Scotty thinkin?! We needed him!! #bulls #pippensucks”
1969 NBA Finals, Game 7. Wilt Chamberlain injures his knee and heads for the bench, only to ask back in to the game minutes later. His coach opts to stay with his backup, Mel Counts, and the Lakers fall to the Celtics.
“Never seen a 7 footer so soft! #Russell would of stayed in! lol #wuss”
“Can’t believe a little twisted knee takes a Center outta the game! Wouldn’t happen in hockey! #Wilt”
2008 NFL AFC Championship Game. LaDainian Tomlinson, who led the NFL in rushing in the 2007 regular season, is sidelined during the game with a knee injury, and watches as his team falls to the Patriots.
“LT- Lacks Toughness!! #washedup #girl”
“Jim Brown would of never got hurt in the Playoffs! Tomlinsin soft!”
We all know LeBron doesn’t just get ripped for injuries, because many people still treat him like he hasn’t won any championships since it took him “so long” to win his first. What would people have tweeted about some other top athletes, and might their legacies be different if Twitter were around?
1988, 1989, 1990 NBA Playoffs. Michael Jordan, playing in his fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons as a pro, is eliminated from the playoffs each year by the Detroit
Pistons.Despite having already won a league MVP award and 4 straight scoring titles, Jordan can’t seem to get past the Bad Boys.
“OMG Jordan will never win a NBA Championship!! Three straight years Pistons knock him out!! #fail”
“Saying it now, MJ will never win a ring. Just a scorer, NOT a winner!! #bulls”
Jordan went on to win 6 NBA Titles in the next 8 years.
1996 AFC Divisional Round. After 14 professional seasons, John Elway is still yet to win a Super Bowl as the Denver Broncos are upset by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars 30-27 at Mile High Stadium in Denver. After the game, Denver Post writer Jim Armstrong even wrote “Sure, it might have been John Elway’s last hurrah, but it wasn’t his last game in a Denver Broncos uniform.”
“Here we go, another Marino! Elway can’t win a SB #SMH”
Elway went on to win Super Bowls in the next two seasons, his final seasons in the NFL.
2007 NBA Opening Round Playoffs, Western Conference. A year removed from winning the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks stormed through the regular season, finishing 67-15 as the top seed in the West. They were eliminated by the eighth seeded Golden State Warriors, after Dirk Nowitzki, in his 9th NBA season, was named league MVP.
“Told you all European big men are soft!! Dirk can’t win!’
“Another first round upset for the #mavs SMH they will never win”
Dirk and the Mavericks defeated LeBron James and the Heat in 2011 for their first championship in franchise history.
(AP Photo/LM Otero)
Pretty much the moral of the story is think before you tweet about elite athletes, because you might look really stupid down the road.
Can you think of any other athletes who would have been ripped back in the day if social media was around? Comment below!
Featured image credit: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)