It was interesting to learn that what set LeBron James off during Game 4 of the NBA Finals was Draymond Green calling him a “bitch.” After all, the NBA has a rich history of insane trash-talking, and I generally just assume that Kevin Garnett spends each game threatening to skullfuck his opponents. But depending upon the inflection used and the force behind calling somebody a “bitch,” it can mean something more akin to “fuck you,” or it can be a derogatory challenge on somebody’s manhood. I’d venture to guess the way Green said it was the latter.
The other interesting thing is that this is far from the first time James has reacted strongly to an opponent calling him a “bitch.” In fact, it seems to be the go-to insult for annoying, scrappy, hustling players like Joakim Noah, Shawn Marion, and now Green. The first evidence I can find comes from a December 2009 game, in which Noah reportedly told James “you’re a bitch.”
Two years later, James’s future teammate Marion called him a bitch (possibly “LeBitch”?) during Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals:
The next year Rajon Rondo, whose Celtics seemingly played James in the playoffs every single year, took a photo at an autograph signing with a woman wearing a “LeBron Is A Bitch” shirt. (A few years later the cameraman at a Celtics game accidentally caught another fan wearing the shirt.)
James and Noah were jawing back-and-forth the whole game during last year’s playoffs, and after James dunked on him, Noah told him “fuck you, you still a bitch though”:
And finally, after the Cavs beat the Warriors in overtime of Game 2 of last year’s Finals, a Warriors fan called James a “pussy-ass bitch” as he was leaving the court: