The pitchforks were out in record time when TNT reporter Allie LaForce asked LeBron James for his reaction to the passing of Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin Popovich, on Wednesday night.
LeBron’s ensuing pause and emotional response led many to assume LaForce had broken the news to him without warning, and her integrity was promptly brought into question across the Twittersphere.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 19, 2018
Had LaForce done as many suspected, it would’ve been poor form indeed.
The only thing was, she hadn’t.
Just moments after one of the worst sides of social media reared its ugly head, LeBron used it to clear the air.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) April 19, 2018
“…A lot of people feel like I was blindsided,” James said via Uninterrupted, after again paying his respects to the Popovich family. “That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told she was going to ask me the question and if it was OK. Once I started talking about it, once we were on air, actually my emotions just kind of took over…and that was just my emotions coming straight from my heart.”
LeBron defended LaForce again later in the video.
“Also guys, please get off Allie LaForce’s back because she followed proper protocol and she warned me,” he said. “Get off her back, man, she’s very professional and she does a great job.”
Meanwhile, TNT stalwart Ernie Johnson delivered a similar message.
There’s no doubt LaForce’s detractors were trying to stand up for what’s right.
But everyone was in so much of a hurry to rip her that they did so before finding out the full story.