LeBron James leaves the court before the final speaker in Game 6, without shaking hands with Grizzlies
LeBron James was heavily challenged in the media by the Memphis Grizzlies. Dillon Brooks said before that postseason he hoped to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round and send James out “right away. After the Grizzlies won Game 2, Brooks called James old and explained that he “doesn’t respect anybody until they come and give me 40.” “
James may not have done it alone in this series, but his team did as a group on Friday. When the final buzzer sounded in Game 6, the Lakers led the Grizzlies 125-85 … a margin of just 40 points. But James didn’t stick around to see the end. With 14.1 seconds left on the clock and the result decided, James left the floor and went out through the tunnel alone.
Usually, players from both teams shake hands and reflect on the streak after one team has officially knocked off the other. This is an unofficial tradition and is not always respected. The reasons can vary from serious to long-term complaints. The Detroit Pistons infamously refused to shake hands with the Chicago Bulls in 1991 after Michael Jordan beat them after several heartbreaking losses.
It is not clear why James left the floor early. He has largely decided to avoid trading barbs with the Grizzlies in the media during the series, saying “this is not my first rodeo.James will now have three days to rest before his Lakers face either the Sacramento Kings or Golden State Warriors in the second round of the postseason.