NBA Draft

LeBron James critical of NBA announcer’s remarks regarding Rockets’ Kevin Porter Jr.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James addressed remarks made by Wizards announcer Glenn Consor during Wednesday night’s contest between Washington and the Houston Rockets after tweeting his criticism of Consor earlier on Thursday. “Could he have made a mistake? Absolutely,” James said. “But in our job and our field, as professionals, we are in a professional league, you got to do your due diligence and do your job all the way to the point where, why did he even say that at the end of that game, anyway?”

With time expiring in the Rockets’ game against the Wizards Wednesday night, Houston’s Kevin Porter Jr. dribbled beyond the arc, waiting for the chance at a buzzer-beating shot to break a 111-111 tie. As Raul Neto jumped, he swished a 3 to secure a Rockets victory, leading Consor to offer commentary.

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

Porter’s father, Bryan Kevin Porter Sr., pleaded guilty in 1993 to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl. He died of a gunshot wound in 2004 when his son was four. Consor’s words sparked immediate outrage on social media, with several NBA players, including James, weighing in.

“Oh he thought this was cool huh!!?? Nah we ain’t going for this! Sorry but this ain’t going to fly! How insensitive can you be to say something like this. Beat it man! I pray for you but there’s no place in our beautiful game for you!” James wrote in a tweet.

Consor offered an apology Thursday morning: “I mistakenly thought that Kevin was the son of former Washington (Bullets) player Kevin Porter and was unaware that the words I chose to describe his game-winning shot would be in any way hurtful or insensitive,” he wrote in a Twitter post.

Speaking to reporters Thursday after Consor’s apology, James said he stood by his tweet from earlier in the day.

“We’re going to continue to protect our players, and … they said (Consor is) supposed to be a very smart guy, right?” James said. “Is that what everybody is saying? The guy is a very smart guy. So if you’re a very smart guy, I believe you should be able to do your homework on situations.”

He added: “So if you’re doing your homework on any one of these kids that’s in this league, that word that he used for that kid to make that game-winning shot, that sentence that he used, no matter if he knew that was his dad or not, should have never been used in the first place. … And if you know the history of this kid’s dad, you can’t sit here and tell me that those words — it’s just a direct correlation.”

James pointed out that, like players, announcers are given scouting reports on opposing teams. He also expressed doubt at Consor’s claim that he thought Porter’s father was the Kevin Porter who played for the Washington Bullets in the 1970s.

“The first thing I would have done (after seeing Porter’s name on the Rockets roster), I would have said, ‘Oh, Kevin Porter Jr. is coming into town, let me see if that’s his son.’ I would have did that due diligence way before.”

James went on to point out several players who share names, with their fathers and with men they’re not even related to — Isaiah and Isiah Thomas, Mike James, Patrick Surtain Jr., Marvin Harrison Jr. He said he did his research to find out who was related to whom and expected broadcasters to do the same.

James was clear that he is not calling for Consor’s job. He called the language a “slip-up,” and pointed out that it soiled what was the biggest moment yet in Porter’s NBA career.

“That was the greatest moment for that kid in his young NBA career so far,” James said. “Why are we talking about this? Why are we talking about this? This kid made a game-winning, stepback 3.”

(Photo: Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)

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