TODAY'S PAPER
59° Good Afternoon
59° Good Afternoon
SportsBasketball

LeBron James takes some social media flak for cramping, but he doesn't care

Miami Heat forward LeBron James heads down court

Miami Heat forward LeBron James heads down court between plays against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in San Antonio. Photo Credit: AP / Eric Gay

SAN ANTONIO - LeBron James didn't get much sleep Friday, a byproduct of all the fluids that were pumped into his body after a severe cramping episode Thursday night.

"What I went through the last 12 hours was getting up and using the restroom a lot," he said Friday. "I got 21/2 bags of IV [Thursday] night right after the game. So between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m., I got up about six or seven times. So I got no sleep."

James still was sore more than 12 hours after the AT&T Center's air conditioning system malfunctioned and shut down -- just as James' left leg did with the Heat trailing by two with 3:59 left in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The cramps forced him to take a seat for good in the Spurs' 110-95 win.

James said he took seven anti-cramping pills during the game, tried to hydrate and changed his uniform in the Heat's blazing locker room at halftime, hoping it would keep him from cramping up the way he did in Game 4 of the 2012 Finals.

It's an issue he's had since high school and has been tested for, but James said everything previously came back OK. He's confident he'll be 100 percent Sunday night for Game 2. The Spurs seem convinced that they've fixed the electrical issue that led to arena temperatures in the 90s. They said the system is repaired and fully operational.

James' late-game absence sparked a social media tsunami. Gatorade poked fun at James, who endorses Powerade, noting that James isn't a Gatorade client and that those who use their product can take the heat.

Even Jonathan Martin, the offensive lineman who left the Dolphins after getting bullied by Richie Incognito, chimed in on Twitter and said James should toughen up, get a drink and hop back on the court.

James flicked away the criticism as if he were dealing with one of the flying cockroaches that make their presence known in San Antonio.

"I'm not on social media right now," he said. "Obviously, I hear about it . . . What everybody has to say, you guys should know me by now. I don't care, I really don't. I really don't care what people say about me. I don't care about that sports group, the drink group that I'm not even going to say theirname. I'm not going to give them a light in the Finals. This is about the Spurs and the Heat, and it's not about everybody else, man. I don't care."

Said Dwyane Wade, "From the outside, 'Oh, it's a cramp. Can't play through a cramp?' But until you're in that situation and you're in someone else's moccasins, you don't know what somebody else's body is going through. It's not just a cramp you get, you know. When you're in the bed sleeping at night, sometimes you might cramp up. Your body has entered a whole new zone of dehydration. You push yourself past the limit and it becomes the point where it's not one cramp. Many multiple areas cramp up. If a player like LeBron James is coming out of the ballgame down two, then it's serious. It's not nothing to be joked about."

As James said, "I looked at the stands at one point and I saw every last fan having fans -- double entendre -- waving fans and I knew at that point, this is something different."

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, "Look, 99.9 percentile of people have never pushed their body to that level, at that level where you're past the point where your tank is empty and your body shuts down. And again, for a competitor, and for the best player in the game at this level to constantly push his body past that point, I think is incredibly admirable."

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports