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LeBron James walks off with time left on clock as Lakers go down 0-3 to Nuggets

James and the Lakers lost at home to the Nuggets by the final of 119-108 to fall into an insurmountable 0-3 deficit in their Western Conference Finals series. The Lakers couldn’t contain Jamal Murray, who had 30 points in the first half, and got carved up in the post in the second half by Nikola Jokic, who finished with 24 points and a team-high eight assists.

The former MVP James didn’t bother to stick around for the final buzzer. The ABC broadcast showed James walking off the floor during a stoppage with 6.1 seconds left. By the time the clock hit triple zeroes, James was already halfway down the tunnel to the locker room.

Here is the video (with James exiting the court at the 55-second mark).

It was a massively disappointing loss for the Lakers, who had yet to lose at home to this point of the playoffs. Now they are in an 0-3 hole that no team has ever come back from throughout all of NBA history. Long story short, the Lakers’ season is cooked.

But for James, who was subbed out with 57.2 seconds left and was preceded by his teammate Dennis Schroder in walking off early, it does not excuse the display of poor sportsmanship.

Denver, the top seed in the West for virtually the entire year, has been disciplined and methodical, outplaying the Lakers on both ends in all three games thus far. Leaving with time left on the clock shows lack of respect, both for the Nuggets and for the spirit of competition.

We shouldn’t be surprised though as this has become common behavior for James throughout his career. He walks off early during losses no matter if he is playing in a regular season game or if he is playing in the NBA Finals.

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