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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

LeBron James doubles down on criticism of Wizards announcer despite apology

LeBron James yells during a game

LeBron James is not coming off his stance on Washington Wizards announcer Glenn Consor at all.

Consor, who was calling the Wizards’ game against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, used some unfortunate language after Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. hit a game-winning shot.

“Kevin Porter Jr., like his dad, pulled that trigger right at the right time,” said Consor.

Porter Jr’s father, Bryan Kevin Porter Sr., served four-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl in 1993. Porter Sr. then died in 2004 after being shot five times during a bar fight in Seattle, Wash. Porter Jr. was just four years old at the time of his father’s death.

The Los Angeles Lakers star James unloaded on Consor for the comment, tweeting an angry message on Thursday morning.

Consor went on to apologize for his choice of words, saying that he thought Porter Jr. was the son of Kevin Porter Sr., a former NBA guard who played for Washington in the 1970s and 1980s. Consor added that he had reached out to Porter Jr. personally and hoped to speak with him soon.

Indeed, many initially thought that Consor simply made a very unfortunate but honest mistake. Kevin Porter Sr. was a notable player for Washington, leading the NBA in assists four different times. Thus, it makes sense that a Wizards announcer would have had him in mind. Additionally, the franchise was known as the Bullets back when Kevin Porter Sr. played for them, which may have given subconscious rise to Consor’s “pulled that trigger” language.

But despite these plausible alternative explanations (as well as Consor’s own apology), James doubled down on his tweet in a media session on Thursday. The four-time MVP was aware of Consor’s apology at this point.

“I stand by my tweet,” said James, per Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation. “I stand by everything I said. So, let’s just say, he thought that was the case. So, we get scouting reports on players, and I know you guys from the media, y’all get memos and stuff for players and stuff before the game, right? Y’all get like packets of stuff when y’all come to the game and what’s going on and game play. And I believe that – I’m not a play-by-play person, analyst – but I believe that they do their due diligence as well when they get their reports on teams that they’re about to play as well as their own team, right?

“So, I was actually watching the game live last night when I heard, and I waited,” James continued. “I didn’t do it right away, as you see with my tweet. I was watching the game. So, if that’s the case, if I am a play-by-play announcer, right, and I’m covering a team – my local team – in his case he’s covering the Wizards. So he remembers the Kevin Porter who used to play for the [Washington] Bullets, correct? The first thing I would have done, I would have said, ‘Oh, Kevin Porter Jr. is coming into town. Let me see if that’s his son.’ I would’ve did that due diligence way before, and I think everyone on this call would have did the same thing. Tell me, am I wrong?”

For what it is worth, Consor is not a regular TV announcer for the Wizards, nor is he a play-by-play guy. He filled in Wednesday for color commentator Drew Gooden alongside play-by-play announcer Justin Kutcher.

Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic added that James actually spoke to reporters for over seven minutes on the subject. James also said that “Kevin Porter Jr. looks up to me, and it is my obligation to make sure that he knows that I have his back.”

Considering both the context and Consor’s apology, it seems like he deserves the benefit of the doubt here. But James was quick to make initial judgment, which he has done before, and is now digging in further on his position.

H/T Lakers Daily

Photo: Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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