LeBron Dances His Way Out of Joakim Noah's Good Graces

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↵LeBron James went for 23 points and 11 assists in a snoozer of a win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, but it was his celebratory dancing that got Joakim Noah upset. The video here is taken from a free throw situation in the fourth quarter, when the outcome of the game was all but decided, and shows Noah taking exception (and vehemently, if you can read lips) to LeBron's moves -- which had been part of much of the second half, both after plays or on the bench -- and getting King James a technical foul. ↵

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↵ESPN's Ric Bucher says the quotes in question were rather pointed, and I can see where Noah crossed a line in calling out LeBron. But is dancing on the bench after baskets he wasn't even involved in (watch the last few seconds of the video) really what the Cavs and the NBA want out of a superstar who has, it seems, regressed from consummate champion-to-be to someone whose work ethic got maligned for silly summer pickup games and a poor sport who could not handle defeat with dignity? ↵

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↵Incidents like these will stick in craws more this year because we are jaded by LeBron's regular-season brilliance; he's already done nearly all a player can do from November to April, and now we will await his ultimate triumphs in the NBA playoffs, poaching on incidents like last night's to impugn the man. Fairly, LeBron should (and will) ignore that like we ignore his routine excellence, and his chance to paper over any puerility with an NBA title this summer has nothing to do with whether he was gyrating on the sidelines during a December win. Winning, especially winning the big one, makes almost anything easy to forgive. ↵

↵And, Jo, if you don't want 'Bron to dance, make sure he loses the game. It's a lot harder to justify celebrating a loss.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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