I admit it; I’ve been celebrating the failures of LeBron James and the Miami Heat, and to a great extent because of the LBJ factor. It’s not because his ego has completely outgrown his accomplishments, well, okay, it has, and that‘s a huge piece of it, but also because I appreciate the team style play of the Mavs and just dislike the one on one playing style of the Heat as a whole. It offends me, it offends my basketball sensibilities and if you think that’s just silly – I can live with that.
I dislike it because barring the occasional adrenaline filled ESPN worthy highlight which satisfies our ever decreasing attention spans, it’s ugly, selfish basketball to watch. The lack of team play, not making or appreciating the pass that leads to the assist pass for the easy shot, Homerun basketball if you will, disturbs me. That style of play elevates the names on the back of the jerseys at the cost of the team name on the front. I could digress here to my similar problems with the station to station and homerun nature of the current baseball world but . . . . In basketball it’s much worse. It’s bad for the fans of teams, it’s a bad example for young players coming up, most of whom will never have the nearly unlimited athleticism of LeBron but will no doubt emulate him to the detriment of both themselves and every team and teammate they will ever have. And they will fail, lost potential.
Speaking of that amazing physical talent, for an eight year NBA veteran who dominates the ball to be unable to execute simple (okay, mildly challenging) half court offense plays when the space or situation doesn’t allow sheer athleticism to be dominant - is inexcusable. This is the greatest basketball player on the planet? The most gifted physically perhaps but I’d argue that there are many better Players. Is not a player that is really only able to be effective in the open court an incomplete player? You could argue that no player is truly complete or without flaws - and be correct, but when that player is the self proclaimed greatest player on Earth and must have the ball in his hands or be completely ineffective, and in fact a detriment to his team, well, it just plain pisses me off. This is the game I love.
Lastly I’m just mad that 75% of all the media storylines have centered on ‘ King James’. This attention was self inflicted – and unfortunately inflicted on me and all other NBA fans as well. I find his complaints about being under the microscope laughable, as he has clearly gone out of his way while in Cleveland and certainly since with his ridiculous ‘decision’ show and the self aggrandizing circus acts he and the Heat organization has allowed and even encouraged. He has received no scrutiny that he didn’t ask for time and time again when things were going well, and expecting that attention to stop or be merciful in the face of failure just illustrates the scale of his ego. He treated his fans in Cleveland shamefully, and I was angry for them. I find it hard to point to a moment when he has shown any true gratitude to any fans at all. It’s always been about himself - Ooops,and his teammates(!) when he remembers to throw that in. Hell, I'm mad that I feel the need to write this post about Him.
Does he care?
“Absolutely not, because at the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they got to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had - before they woke up today,” James said. “They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do - with me and my family and be happy with that."
It sounded even worse live, was even more revealing, than that post game comment reads.
It’s time for LeBron to grow up, as a player and hopefully as a person. I wish he would, I don’t like rooting against overgrown children. This is my game too.
Oh well, back to my miserable life.