On the floor in the middle of the locker room, a Cavs trainer pulled and bent and rubbed to loosen King James' muscles. While the trainer worked on his body, the King, a set of gold-colored headphones atop his head, sang.
Ignoring the crush of journalists in the room, the King -- aka LeBron James -- engrossed himself in the music. He was in no hurry to hold court.
So as the media waited, the King rapped aloud. He proved no candidate for "American Idol," but he never claimed his greatness extended beyond business and basketball. He's crafted an image like Mike's: of class and of sophisticated cool.
But isn't class a constant? Shouldn't class be something a star athlete guards jealously?
I wish I could use the word class to describe any part of the King's five-minute rendition Wednesday night of a profane rap song. I don't know whose work the King sang; I do know he picked the wrong venue to perform it.
Yes, the King was in his domain, and the locker room has always been the province of the players and not the media. You hang out in locker rooms long enough and you'll hear sexist, homophobic and rude comments flow like the waters in the Amazon. Vulgarity has no place there. It should not be the language of a sophisticated man.
I'm a former journalism professor at Ohio University, and I still enjoy teaching, although I don't do it anymore in a formal classroom. I have long felt that teaching is the most noble -- or selfless -- thing a person can do, which is why I value it so highly. But I'm also a sportswriter, which I enjoy doing nearly as much as I enjoy teaching. ... Justice B. Hill