Here it is Tuesday and wouldn’t you know people are STILL talking about LeBron James’ cramping in Game 1 of the NBA Finals last Thursday. James scored 35 points in a Game 2 victory on the road in San Antonio, but somehow there are individuals that are just overlooking that event and still focused on what happened in the game before.
LeBron having to sit out the final few minutes of Game 1 created a wealth of memes, sports drink Twitter hijinks, and pretty much everyone connected with sports having something to say on the matter.
But it’s one person in particular worth noting as they step into HydrateGate. Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George.
George put this photo on Instagram with the message “Stay hydrated!!! #Gatorade.”
A few things about this Instagram photo that make it not such a good idea…
1) First of all, very timely Instagram Paul George! It’s so nice to see you as a Gatorade sponsor on the cusp of social media marketing brilliance. Well done to be ahead of the curve on this one. And really, even if this isn’t meant to make fun of James’ cramping, that’s how this photo is going to be taken across the sports world.
2) It’s been proven that James was drinking Gatorade during Game 1, since that’s the only sports drink available on NBA benches. So even though LBJ is a Powerade spokesperson, and even though the science around sports drinks preventing cramping is questionable, if there’s anyone to mock in this it’s actually Gatorade. So in reality, all of this Gatorade nonsense is them making fun of themselves. But as long as we’re launching sports drink Twitter Wars, I guess it can’t be all bad.
3) When last we saw Paul George he was walking off the court after getting beat in the Eastern Conference Finals by… LeBron James and the Miami Heat. This is why athletes long ago invented the checkmate comeback “scoreboard.”
Paul George must feel so fulfilled that he can sit at home watching LeBron James play in the NBA Finals while he gets to pose with a bottle of Gatorade in an Instagram photo. After all, it was George’s Pacers that choked in the second half of the season, George’s Pacers that became the laughing stock of the league amidst their epic turmoil-laden collapse, George’s Pacers that threw away the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and George’s Pacers that lost to the Miami Heat and LeBron James in the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
Before you make light of the best player in the world cramping during an NBA Finals game, maybe you should consider making the Finals yourself.