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Monday, June 17, 2019

Right or wrong? LeBron put on spot by reporter about death of Erin Popovich

LeBron James Allie Laforce

UPDATE: TNT later said that LaForce asked James before the interview whether he wanted to comment, and he did.

A TNT reporter broke the news of the death of Erin Popovich to LeBron James during a postgame interview on Wednesday night, raising questions about the timing of the question.

James had just scored 46 points in Cleveland’s 100-97 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their playoff series. He was interviewed by TNT’s Allie LaForce after the game and was asked a few questions about the contest. Then, just before the interview ended, LaForce broke the news to James about the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife and asked for his reaction.

James seemed utterly shocked by the news — which broke while he was playing — got emotional, and then came through with a thoughtful and heartfelt answer.

Though James had a good answer, there are legitimate issues about the timing of the question.

Should LaForce have been the one to break news like that to James? Perhaps that would have been better suited as a question in the postgame news conference after he had already learned of the death. It didn’t necessarily seem fair to spring it on him like that.

And before you get on LaForce for the question, keep in mind that perhaps a producer instructed her to ask it.

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