Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gloria James' emotions nothing new in a basketball arena

I had to laugh as Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley spent several minutes discussing Gloria James instead of LeBron James during halftime of last night's playoff broadcast on TNT. Then this morning, "LeBron's Momma" became a five-minute debate on ESPN2, and right now, an old story about Gloria James' arrest is the most-viewed story on our station's website.

All this attention .. from a short outburst at last night's game.

If you didn't see it live, here's a recap: The family matriarch jumped to her baby boy's defense following a hard foul in the second quarter underneath the Cavs hoop. The site of 5'5" Gloria taking hard steps towards the towering Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett was the stuff David-and-Goliath movies are made of. Only in this case, Gloria was reacting on emotion .. and certainly hadn't brought a slingshot -- not that it would have mattered against the two giants nearby.

As LeBron broke free from Pierce's bear hug, he could see his momma take a few steps and begin to yell .. that's when LeBron told his mother ... um .. shall we say ... "please mom, take your seat, I have everything under control." Although if you could read lips, it looked a lot more like "Sit your *$$ down mom!"

LBJ joked about it afterwards ... saying that "yesterday was Mother's Day." He wasn't proud of the language he used on National TV .. especially towards the woman who gave birth to him.

Still, if LeBron's roar kept his mother from making a major physical mistake, then his word choice saved the day. The last thing the league needs is fans taking physical shots at players .. even when it's the Chosen One's momma.

I can remember watching Gloria do laps on the concourse level of JAR Arena wearing a shirt that read "LeBron's mom" during a state playoff game a few years ago. I can also remember how she carried herself in the St. V gym from time-to-time. Always vocal .. always out in front .. never hiding who she was or why she was there. Meanwhile, she was so committed to her son that she even missed his final home game as a high school player in order to take care of a traffic ticket that LeBron had gotten.

While there are many who've felt Gloria's been out of control too often -- and her arrest for bad driving that included kicking out the window of a police cruiser didn't help -- there is something to be said for her loyalty and passion for her son.

Many will say that it's easy to be loyal to a son who's worth $100 million and buys you whatever you need. Yet, if you read David Lee Morgan's book, "Lebron", you'll find that Gloria put LeBron first long before she knew he'd be a superstar. She certainly had problems as a teen mom trying to raise a son .. and she was wise enough, according to the book, to realize when she was in over her head. That's when she placed LeBron with a family friend while she "got her life together."

I can't stick up for Gloria's actions ... nor can I possibly know what King James' relationship is with the woman who put together the plan for his high school HMMV ... but it shouldn't surprise anyone that Gloria was courtside and ready to defend her son.

Think Boobie Gibson or Wally Czerbiak's mothers wouldn't have had the same initial reaction if a giant grabbed their sons on the fly right in front of them?

You don't have to like Gloria ... but you've got to admire her maternal instincts.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I remember her taunting other fans at high school games.