Gatorade apologizes over LeBron-related tweets

By Tim Reynolds

Associated Press

Published: Friday, June 6 2014 11:55 a.m. MDT

Miami Heat forward LeBron James watches action against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals on Thursday, June 5, 2014 in San Antonio.

Eric Gay, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

SAN ANTONIO — Gatorade apologized Friday for comments posted to the company's Twitter feed after Miami Heat star LeBron James cramped up and had to leave Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The tweets were not deleted.

James needed intravenous fluids after the game, during which temperatures inside San Antonio's AT&T Center were measured at nearly 90 degrees after the arena's air conditioning system failed. The Spurs won the game 110-95, pulling away in the final 3:59 after James left the game for good with cramps ravaging his left leg.

"Our apologies for our response to fans' tweets during (Thursday) night's Heat vs. Spurs game," Gatorade said in a release. "We got caught up in the heat of the battle. As a longtime partner of the Miami Heat, we support the entire team."

Gatorade has a long business relationship with the NBA. James is an endorser of Powerade, a Gatorade rival.

One of the tweets, in response to someone who directed a message toward the sports drink's feed, read that, "We were waiting on the sidelines, but he prefers to drink something else."

He may be paid by Powerade, but it appeared James was drinking Gatorade at least once during Game 1 of the finals. Video and photos taken of James on the Heat bench during the second half showed him holding what appeared to be a Gatorade bottle with the label removed, as has been the case on many other occasions.

The original tweet posted by Gatorade came late in Game 1, saying, "With a game this hot, we're right at home."

The Spurs said a power outage was to blame for the air conditioning failure. The team announced Friday it had been repaired.

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