Posts Tagged ‘dwyane wade’

I Still Hate LeBron

Nothing can make me like LeBron James. I don’t care if he is a champion now. I don’t care if he is the NBA Finals MVP. I don’t care if he put up one of the greatest playoff performances ever this year. I don’t care if he helped Shane Battier get a ring. I don’t care if he overcame the worst cramps in human history to do it. I don’t care if he’s humbler, happier, and more mature than he was two years ago. I don’t care if spends his off-season saving small children from burning buildings. Nothing can make me like him.

And yet the tide is turning in his favor. Throughout the year, fans and sportswriters seemed to be letting up on LeBron, as if the statute of limitations on detesting him had run out. Seth Davis, of Sports Illustrated, seemed to make this argument almost explicitly. And now that James finally has his ring, I suspect the intense fandom that lined up behind whichever team happened to be playing the Heat will die down a bit; it’s not as fun to root against something that’s already happened. Continue reading

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The Worst Bad Guys

The Least Intimidating Villains Ever

The Miami Heat are the most obvious villains in sports right now, and quite possibly ever. Fans have wanted to see the Heat lose since before this season even started. It’s possible that someone outside Miami was rooting for them to win last night, but if so, he probably kept it to himself. EVERYONE wanted to see Dallas win that series. I barely care about the NBA, and I was thrilled that the Mavericks won. So far in 2011, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have demonstrated complete and utter unity only twice: Last night when the Heat lost, and last month when Osama bin Laden was killed.

The Miami Heat are the Osama bin Laden of sports.

And yet the Heat are not good sports villains. It is fun to root against them, but not as much fun as it should be. Continue reading

A Belated and Ignorant NBA Season Preview!

The NBA season started like two weeks ago, but that didn’t stop Tim from boldly predicting records for all 29 30 teams. As you can probably figure out, what’s occurred during the season’s first fortnight had little to no impact on his prognostications.

30. Minnesota dumped Ramon Sessions and his four-year, $16 million contract in order to sign Luke Ridnour to a four-year, $16 million contract. This is confusing because Luke Ridnour plays the same position as Ramon Sessions and isn’t any better…Timberwolves 18-64.

29. Toss Up: What’s higher: Toronto losses or Jose Bautista home runs?…Raptors 20-62.

28. A prominent Russian hasn’t been tortured this much since they sent Dostoevsky to Siberia. Too soon?…Nets 22-60.

27. How long until John Wall and Alex Ovechkin start hanging out?…Wizards 23-59.

Continue reading

Shut Up Michael Jordan (And Magic Johnson, And Probably Larry Bird Eventually)

Shut up, Michael Jordan. Nobody should be listening to you. You were an excellent basketball player—probably the best ever—but you are an arrogant, selfish idiot. We all know that by now.

So nobody should care that you said you would never have called Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and asked them to join you on the same team: “There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team.’” Oh, really? “With hindsight,” you wouldn’t make drastic changes to what pretty much everyone agrees was the greatest professional basketball career of all time? Shocking.

What about without hindsight? What about when you were 25, like LeBron James is now, and you, like LeBron James, had never won an NBA title? Continue reading

In Quasi Defense Of LeBron James

Is choosing teammates worse than inheriting them?

I don’t want to be put in the position of defending LeBron James. As I’ve said, I’m not happy about his decision—it’s basically a sports tragedy. So while I generally agree with those criticizing him, I can’t help but notice some unfair attacks.

Most of these deal with claims about LeBron’s personality. Fans have a tendency to do this a lot: They project personality traits and character flaws onto athletes based on no real knowledge of the players as individuals. If a player strikes out in a key situation, he must be unable to handle pressure. If a basketball player misses the open man, he must be a selfish person. If a football player happens to be the quarterback of a team that loses, he must not be a motivated individual. In a few instances, there is some merit to this—sports would not be nearly as special if it didn’t give us insights into the human psyche.

Far more often, though, it is utter schlock. Continue reading

The LeBron Decision

LeBron James hanging up his Cavs jersey

It isn’t often that a player is accused of being selfish for taking less money in order to win championships. It isn’t often that a player is accused of being self-aggrandizing for holding a special that donates all proceeds to charity. It isn’t often that a player is accused of letting an entire city down after pretty much single-handedly leading his team to consecutive 60-win seasons.

But then again, LeBron James isn’t a normal basketball player, so comparing him to what “often” happens probably doesn’t make much sense.

There was something undeniably disappointing about the way LeBron’s decision played out yesterday. Maybe it was because of the slow, gradual, yet inevitable way it all played out: It went from possibly Miami, to probably Miami, to almost certainly Miami. By the time LeBron actually sat down for his interminable interview with Jim Gray, the outcome was all but certain, even if everyone was hoping that LeBron would justify our collective denial.

But it’s hard to see it being as disappointing if the gradually leaking information had all indicated that LeBron would return to Cleveland, or even that he would go to New York. No, there was something uniquely disappointing about LeBron signing with Miami, just one day after Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh announced their plans to play in South Beach.

So why, exactly, was this so disappointing? Was LeBron’s behavior really “selfish”? Did he really “betray” the city of Cleveland? Continue reading