Blog Entry

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Posted on: May 8, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: May 8, 2011 3:39 pm
LeBron James calls a reporter's question "retarded" which is not cool. Not cool at all. Or suprising. 
Posted by Matt Moore

LeBron James isn't a moron. He's just incredibly, unbelievably immature. It comes off in how he carries himself, from throwing away his warm-ups to "The Decision" to his rampant flubs in the media. I say this not as one of the scribes who has habitually and constantly crushed James for his ego, but as a writer who doesn't think wanting to change job locations or positions is a terrible thing, even if you do it in an impolite way, and who has defended James' game from attacks on his basketball character. It's just pretty evident that James is immature. It's not always a bad or avoidable thing to be immature. Few people in their early 20's really are, and James' natrual progression in that area was surely stunted by his god-like treatment he received from high school on, and from entering the NBA right out of high school. But James is old enough now to know better. And he doesn't.  And we have yet another example. 

In response to a reporter's question to Dwyane Wade regarding whether the play that injured Rajon Rondo was "dirty," James covered his mouth and uttered "That's retarded" under his breath. You know, because that won't get picked up because he covered his mouth despite the giant microphone in front of his mouth. 

So here we are again, back where we were with the Kobe Bryant slur situation. As Larry Brown Sports discusses, there are a number of ways this is different from that situation. But we're going to have the same dynamics going on. Those who defend James religiously will point to the hyper-sensitive nature of society, those who always seek to criticize LeBron will use this as yet another prime opportunity to, and everyone else will filter somewhere along the "outrage vs. outrage over the outrage" line. And nothing will really change, which is the sad part. 

Last week, in trying to describe something to my wife that was idiotic, my mind blanked. I actually said "it's... it's retarded." It was only my wife and I in the room, but I felt the need to apologize and correct myself. I'm not sharing this as an example of moral superiority, but instead of how it can happen to anyone.,It's got to be hard to always say the right thing when you're surrounded by microphones. But this wasn't a mistake, it was a deliberate comment.

"What's the big deal?!" critics of modern society will cry! "It's not like he called someone a slur like Kobe!" Let's start by recognizing that these are two separate incidents, unrelated to one another, and there's room for us to look at both through the lens of their impact on society. The use of such a term only propogates a cultural and societal feeling of disgust and derision for those physically or mentally handicapped. The actual clinical definition describes a lowered intelligence quotient, but the term isn't used in that manner with any discretion or consideration. I'm far from an expert on physical and mental disability, but it's pretty plain that anything which would casually deride victims of such a condition is unacceptable. Sticks and stones and what not, but James' comment still sets an example This isn't a high bar, here, people. 

Is it fair that James' comment should be singled out? No, and that's on us to try and provide a world where our language says what it means, and cuts who it should and them only.  But James said it on national television after he yet again showed that the Celtics can make him irrelevant, and this criticism is the price of the millions of dollars, the "global empire" and the adulation of millions. Your words do matter, LeBron. You may want to take stock and realize that. 

You know, once you grow up.  

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 4:24 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Anyone ever use the term "idiot?" It technically means the same thing as "retard." I don't think that James was intentionally calling the reporter a person with a mental handicap anymore than we are when we call someone an idiot. Could/should he have used a better term? Sure. But let's look beyond the term to the intention.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 4:10 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

For a question directed at Wade, can't he just sit at the podium and mind his own business ? The question wasn't even directed for him to respond. You can rest assured someone asks another a question, I have nothing to say about it until another asks my opinion. Now if they asked himif he thought the play was dirty, he's entitled to say whatever he likes, but yes, it's retarded to ask an opponent whether a play that injured another was dirty. This was a play that any replay will demonstrate both players were going beyond what any basketball referree should allow as a play and not call a foul. Both players guilty, so a non-call, it's just unfortunate the 170 lb man's arm got pinned in an un-natural bend under the 220 lb man's body as both players were tumbling to the floor trying to break each other's fall. By asking the question, it's as if an admission is going to cause some reversal of a decision or action that will effect game 4 and forward. I think in this type of series, more is going to be allowed, whether injuries happen because of it, here's an example of it. Unfortunately for the Celtics it was their star player. To be honest, I only wish the Sixers had been more physical with Wade or James in the paint, rather than draw the lighter fouls that they did.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:59 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

As a special education teacher ...

yeah yeah yeah ... and I'm a freelance gynocologist who invented air. Quit using so much up.

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:57 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

As a special education teacher, I will just say this:  I have students with down's syndrome who have more social grace than this clown.  Oh no!  Did I just offend clowns everywhere?  My apologies to Barnum and Bailey!

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:47 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

First this ...

Wake up, jackoffs.
The this ...

You still need to follow the rules of polite sociey,

lofl ... you mean the rules of a polite society that include calling stangers "jackoff's?"

I love it when they step in their own chitz ...

Since: Sep 6, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:46 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

THe reporter was a retard...I mean the reporter's question was retarded.  Seriously, people need to stop getting butt hurt so easily. 

Since: May 8, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:43 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Now to only be fair.....Matt Moore is a handsome man also, but not as rich as Lebron.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:43 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

You guys are the retards. Lebron is 26 and in his 8th year playing in the NBA. That being said Kobe's slur would have been acurrate if it was directed towards James bc he is f*gg*t.

Written like a real scholar there skippy ... or should I just say that was retarded?

Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:42 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

Wake up, jackoffs. James' remarks were SO out of bounds. So insensitive. And yes, so immature. I don't care if he's in his early 20s. This kind of garbage is something we heard in kindergarten and we rightly got swatted for. Grow up, LeBron. You still need to follow the rules of polite sociey, no matter how rich you are. 

Since: May 8, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:41 pm

LeBron calls a reporter's question 'retarded'

C'mon people.  We the People.

The role of the journalist is not only to report, but to report and provide some insight that will draw interest and commentary.

Word.  To your mother.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or