Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeBron, pro-sports, blathering & beyond...

I love LeBron James. I love watching him play. I love him because he flat-out dominates, and he does some things NO ONE before him has ever done on a basketball court. I love him because he's one of the best and most unique players to ever the play the game. And while I’ll concede that everything happening off the court currently is indeed nonsense, it doesn't take away from him having a lifelong respect for the game, being a true student of the game, a tireless worker on the court, a superb teammate and an extraordinary talent.

To be clear, LeBron’s #1 goal is to win a championship; preferably championships. It’s just plain silly to insinuate or think otherwise (he's apparently losing more than $20,000,000 if he leaves Cleveland, no matter where he goes). He’s already achieved pretty much every other goal there is in basketball, as well as life. He wants a championship like any other competitive athlete in any sport does. Can’t hate him for that. Feeding his ego and whatever other stupid assessments are being thrown about, with regards to his MO are either nonsense, or missing the point. Can we move beyond that now?

Since winning a championship is the goal, LeBron is simply looking at the best alternatives to facilitate that. In my opinion, if he goes to Miami or Chicago, he will most assuredly win at least one championship. If he stays in Cleveland he won’t; and if he goes to New York, it’s possible, however, it’s not a sure thing, like in the other places.

Personally, I SOOOooooo hope he doesn’t go to New York, for obvious reasons. Oh, not obvious? Okay, here’s why: because I love the guy, but I would have to stop supporting him and watching him play with the same passion I do now, because, well, he’d be playing for New York. And I, like the rest of America (NY residents excluded), hate all New York sports teams (although, I’ve always respected the Giants).

He’s a free agent, one of the best players in the NBA (as well as of all time), and he’s allowed to go (or stay) wherever he sees fit. These are the facts. Everything else is media & TV-induced mega-hype. Sure, he’s a star, and has an ego, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars, and is doing things a lot different than other people would, but who cares? With this ‘decision show’ he’s having, he’s also donating everything it makes to an awesome national charity. Let’s also not forget, that for every person who’s annoyed by the pomp & circumstance, there are ten who are WAY into it – or it wouldn’t be happening!

This brings me to my main point: I’m a bit shocked at all the whining and half-sincere blather I’m hearing this week about it all: LeBron not being a good role model, the NBA jumping the shark, “where are the league's values?,” “the game’s gone to pot!,” etc. These people talk about the current state of affairs in the NBA like it’s not going on in their favorite sport; like all other pro sports in America aren’t a mutated, dysfunctional mess also!

Peeps, news flash for you: every pro-sport in America is just as bad off and fucked up as the NBA, and has been for YEARS-ah. The games are a SHELL of what they used to be. Who you trying to kid? Don’t hate the players (unless they’re Kobe or NY players); first and foremost, hate the T.V. (and other mediums), advertisers, corporate sponsors and their desire to “win over the casual fan” of all these sports, for the sole purpose of making more money. After that, you can blame our economic model (capitalism), and the American people, themselves.

These are the entities who bastardized the actual game itself. The MLB, the NHL, NFL and the NBA have gone to shit the last 2 decades, and THIS is the real problem, not the pomp & circumstance, commercials, and dumb shows like LeBron’s having tonight. The games themselves have been compromised forever. The endless rule changes (for the worse), the post-season formats (and tv scheduling), the overtimes, and more, have turned all four major sports into an almost unwatchable affair.

If you still don’t think pro sports is more about entertainment than the actual competition, integrity of the play, and the game itself, then you don’t watch pro sports. The same goes for college sports these days. Hell, I have to go watch high school football games now, to see pure competition anymore. Enough with blaming the players, or whining about what sports are ‘becoming.’ They are ALREADY there.

Who are these people whining about LeBron and tonight’s show anyway? Are the throngs of people complaining even basketball fans? Probably not. Are they LeBron fans? Doubt it. Are they Kobe fans? Who are they exactly?

By the way, If they’re Kobe fans, they are hypocrites of the third kind: Kobe did the same thing in 2004 when he courted just as many teams, and took more time making a decision, for one. Even worse, the prima donna, selfish bastard did it when he was drafted by Charlotte, refusing to go anywhere but the Fakers. Why? So he could win championships! Worked out fine for him, no?

Let me say this now, for all the Kobe lovers/LeBron haters: NO one has more of an ego and selfish attitude off and ON the court, than Kobe (LeBron’s nowhere close to the personal dysfunction or terrible personality that Kobe embodies). While he is no doubt one of the greatest to ever play the game, and I’ll concede, more of a complete player than LeBron is (though I still think LeBron beats him one on one!), he is a total and undeniable punk and weasel.

And here’s another fact (and I suppose getting back to the root of LeBron’s decision today): If Kobe was on Cleveland, he’d have exactly no championships. If LeBron was on the Fakers, he’d have five championships.

In summary(!), LeBron is going to do what he thinks is best to get him some championships. It’s what ANYone would do, including you, reading this. You shan’t blame him for that. All the other absurdity and nonsense surrounding the decision is inconsequential. Completely. If you’re gonna be upset about all the hype, or ‘the game’ or what it’s become, be mad at those who made it that way. LeBron has nothing to do with that.


pilgrim99 said...

Overall, free agency has ruined pro sports in myriad ways. This is yet more evidence of that.

But to the Cleveland fans, who are watching a LOCAL product dodge and dither, a guy who professes to love playing for a hometown team he grew up watching, the loyalty factor is all that matters.

You haven't said anything that isn't true, but as I said to you earlier today, LeBron will never live up to his idol, MJ. Because when MJ lost his motivation (remember, his dad was murdered), he retired, and was never perceived to have stabbed his fans in the back. When he came back after the baseball interregnum, he came back to the same team. Regardless of all the other factors involved, MJ was thought of as LOYAL to his team and fans. Perception, accurate or not, is reality; for most, LeBron is a mercenary, which is his right, but because of that he will never get the respect from this area he may very well deserve because he will be as vilified and hated as Art Modell should he leave. If he does stay (which I doubt), he will be the most loved Cleveland athlete ever, also unreasonably, IMHO.

spacejace said...

good points, for sure, man. I hear you.

Anonymous said...

One word for LBJ...COLLUSION! Baseball owners have been accused of it for years, now the NBA will have it's turn.