LeBron James has dealt with cramping on a big stage before. It famously happened in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals. It happened in Game 1 of last year's NBA Finals against the Spurs. And with the Heat holding a small advantage over the Spurs in the fourth quarter of Game 1 on Thursday, cramps struck James again. He asked out of the game with about seven minutes left:
It was the second time in the game James asked out.
Just so we're clear: no, this isn't a case of LeBron being weak. It happens. No memes comparing him to tough guy NHL players, please.
Update: LeBron re-entered the game briefly, but had to be taken out once again when the cramping flared up. He was limping badly off the court:
LeBron had to literally be carried off the floor due to cramps pic.twitter.com/2IB01bvURf— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) June 6, 2014
San Antonio pulled away as James remained out for the rest of the game, surging to a 110-95 victory.
Lest you think James was somehow weak for remaining out of the game: his coach said James didn't want to sit:
Spoelstra says with three and a half minutes left that LeBron tried to come back in and he told him, "Don't even think about it."— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 6, 2014
The situation was apparently serious, as he needed more medical treatment after the game:
LeBron is in training room, getting an I/V— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 6, 2014