Because after all, why should LeBron James give a damn what someone like Jay Mariotti thinks? And more to the point, why should LeBron James feel compelled to act in the way that someone like Jay Mariotti wants him to act? When it's all said and done, LeBron James is an adult. He is not Jay Mariotti's child (and I am kind of singling Mariotti out here because I don't think that he is very talented, but there are certainly others who have done similar whining about this non-issue) and does not have to do a damned thing that Mariotti would like for him to do.
Let's ask ourselves a few questions: Did LeBron James kill anyone? Did James injure anyone? Did James hit any traffic cops with his car? Did James hurt the feelings of the Orlando Magic players? If James did hurt the Magic players' feelings, as a result, will they be unable to play at their best in the NBA Finals? If James did hurt the Magic players' feelings and, as a result, they will be unable to play at their best in the NBA Finals, should we blame James or should we blame the Magic for being pansies? (If you so desire, please feel free to reply with your answers to these questions in the comments section.)
Okay, so I'm pretty sure that you know where I stand on this, but let me provide another example of one who has a counter opinion to my own. Alright, of course you have no idea who this author is - neither do I. However, I included this piece because of the following quote that he makes:
Professional athletes are supposed to be role models for young athletes all over the world. What is a young, aspiring LeBron fan suppose to think when he sees his idol storm off the court without shaking anyone's hand after losing?
He's probably going to side with his role model and think it's okay not to shake the winning team's hands.
Since when are professional athletes supposed to be role models for anyone? At best I think you can say that professional athletes are supposed to be role models for their own children, not yours. But let's assume for the moment that a scenario happens precisely like described above where a young athlete refuses to shake the hands of players on the opposing, winning team because he saw LeBron James refuse to do so. To the extent that there should be any "blame" assigned for this, the blame should be placed on that young athlete's parents for not teaching the athlete the "proper" way to behave after losing.
And one final point before I leave this stupid subject alone, if you are really that deeply offended by what James did, and you really feel like you have to get back at him for this horrible display of sportsmanship, I'll tell you exactly what you can do. You can stop going to his basketball games, stop watching his basketball games on TV, stop buying the products he endorses, and finally, yell and scream about how poor a sport he is and even write about how poor a sport he is. Obviously a number of people have already gotten these last couple of things down perfectly, so they only need work on the rest. Good luck, you'll show LeBron!
(Oh, and David Stern is getting involved! Fantastic!)