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Sports

June 7, 2014

Gatorade apologizes over LeBron-related tweets

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — 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 also 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 now-deleted 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 only tweet that Gatorade left on its feed related to the matter Friday had been posted 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.

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