LeBron James had a frustrating night Sunday as his Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 3 of the 2020 NBA Finals. Anthony Davis got into early foul trouble, and the Lakers never got into a rhythm and adjusted. James finished the night with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting but showed visible frustration with several non-calls on drives to the basket.
As the final buzzer approached, James decided that he'd simply had enough. Trailing the Heat 115-104 with 10 seconds left on the clock, James walked off of the floor early as the Heat ran down the final seconds to secure the victory.
Ultimately, the move itself was harmless. The Heat weren't actively attempting to score, nor were the Lakers attempting to steal the ball. The game was functionally over and both sides knew it. They were simply running down the clock. James just wanted to beat that post-game tunnel traffic. It happens.
But after 17 years, James knows how his every move gets scrutinized, and this will surely draw unnecessary questions after a difficult Finals loss. The Lakers are still only two wins short of the Finals, but with Game 3 going to Miami and Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic potentially returning later in the series, the matchup is competitive again. A moment like this shouldn't create a distraction for the Lakers.
But history says it will, as a certain segment of the media loves nothing more than attacking James for any little thing. The Lakers lost this game well before the final 10 seconds. What happened afterward is ultimately irrelevant.