This will probably not help Lebron James fix his tarnished image.
Not only did James dunk over a kid half his size at a recent basketball camp, but he also made the curious choice to stare the boy down afterwards like he was ready to throw down, and then walk away. Classy.
You can watch the events unfold below:
It seems this story has sparked quite the debate in the comments and in my e-mail inbox. I have to say, that's a good thing. It especially excites me that it's over this story, as my first ever journalism job was as a sports writer.
There are those of you who have said this doesn't, in fact, look good for Lebron. He's become the villan of basketball ever since he turned his free agent announcement into a TV special. The above video, they've said, is just another example of his perceived arrogance.
Then there are others of you who think this video, and how it's been presented, are unfair. There are especiallhy those who think we are misrepresenting what happened.
I don't think that we are. If you watch the video closely, you'll see that what we wrote above is what happened: Lebron dunked on a kid and then stared him down while walking away. However, it should be noted that he did eventually help him up -- that's a good thing -- and it's important to point that out in this update.
Readers should also know that, according to TMZ, the boy who got dunked on said Lebron gave him his shoes after the incident.
So in the end, we have the facts of what happened. And now, it's up to you to determine what that means. Was this just some schoolyard fun? No harm no foul? Or, does this show another side of Lebron -- the side that's okay with knocking a kid down and walking away (and then eventually coming back)? And did he feel so bad about his initial actions that he felt he had to give the kid his shoes? Or, maybe he was just being nice.
As SportsGrid noted (where we first saw the story), "The phenomenon of NBA players dunking on much smaller humans is nothing new, of course, but did LeBron have to give this poor kid the stare down at the end?"
That's a valid question, and it's a point we thought necessary to make in our piece. Others have too. A CBS News article thought the details of the incident were a little odd:
It's good to see LeBron's competitive instincts kick in - but this is a summer camp for kids. That kind of hustle could have come in handy in the NBA Finals. Did he really need to prove his athletic superiority by throwing down over a small child? Was he still stinging from being posterized by a college kid in 2009?
To make matters worse, LeBron nonchalantly backpedaled away from his crumpled opponent to a cacophony of laughing onlookers. (He did return to make sure the kid was ok, which he was).
As CBS mentioned, this isn't the first time Lebron has found himself in the midst of a dunking controversy as it relates to a young person. In 2009, he was the one getting dunked on by a college student at James's basketball camp. James allegedly had at least one video of the incident confiscated.
Readers will also note that we opened the article with the statement that the video will "probably" not help him with his image -- we intentionally did not say it will "absolutely" not help so as to leave room for disagreement and debate. And our readers never disappoint.
Please, continue to express your views in the comments. We're always listening.