Even Gatorade’s official Twitter account couldn’t resist taking a few shots at LeBron James after a bout of cramps forced the Miami Heat star out of action Thursday night.
James missed the final four minutes of his team’s Game 1 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals due to cramping in his left leg. The pain was so severe that Heat staffers had to carry him off the court.
Soon after, Gatorade joined the cacophony of Twitter critics who bashed James for allowing cramps to force him to miss a key phase of an NBA Finals game. When a social media user asked the brand why its sports drink hadn’t helped James overcome his ailment, Gatorade trolled the Heat star.
“The person cramping wasn’t our client,” Gatorade said on its Twitter account. “Our athletes can take the heat.”
@ryanbkoo The person cramping wasn't our client. Our athletes can take the heat.
— Gatorade (@Gatorade) June 6, 2014
Later, a fan asked Gatorade why its product wasn’t available during James’ time of need. “We were waiting on the sidelines, but he prefers to drink something else,” the company’s account said.
In James’ absence, the Spurs managed a 16-3 run late in the fourth quarter and ultimately secured a 110-95 victory, SI.com notes. After the game, Spurs star Tim Duncan revealed that the AT&T Center’s air conditioning had malfunctioned, pushing temperatures within San Antonio’s home court above 90 degrees.
“[The heat] was significant. It was definitely a factor,” Duncan said, according to Sports Illustrated. “I don’t know about what happened to LeBron, but all of us feeling the heat were dehydrated."
James said he considered playing through the cramps, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra convinced him to stay out of the game. “I was going to try to give it a go and [Spoelstra] said no,” he said. “It sucks at this point in time in the season. […] It was frustrating sitting out.”