Heading into game 6 of the NBA finals, LeBron James (pictured) has been having to contend with rumors that his girlfriend had an affair with Washington Wizards forward Rashard Lewis. The situation is similar to one last year, in which someone leaked the ludicrous assertion that James’s mother was involved with his Cleveland teammate, Delonte West.

This year’s sexual rumor gained traction more quickly because it was supported on air Thursday by journalist Stephen Smith, the ESPN personality who also broke the news of James’s decision to play for Miami. Though the story appears to have originated from a Houston-area hip hop radio station, Smith lent it weight by saying he had heard things through the grapevine,

However, Lewis, who is recently engaged, cleared the air by calling the Houston station Thursday afternoon. He said the rumors were “100% false” and said he has never even met James' girlfriend, according to the Miami New Times.

James, whom some say has potential to be the greatest basketball player of all time, has yet to win an NBA title. Some, like Smith, may look to the off-court drama as an excuse for James’s poor performance (particularly in game four), and it may indeed cost James and the Heat the title this year. But negative press, whether rumored or true, will always follows the biggest stars, as it did with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Yet those two greats have 11 titles between them. With the Heat trailing the Dallas Mavericks two games to three, James has one last shot to show he can rise above the drama.

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