Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Only Basketball Folks!



First off, let me say congratulations to the 2011 NBA World Champion Dallas Mavericks....Job well done. Yes, I was quietly rooting for the Mavericks to win it all...but probably not for the same reason as sports fans in Cleveland and nearly every where else outside of South Dade County, Florida.

I was rooting for Dallas because I have a soft spot in my heart for teams that have never won a championship.
Miami has a championship. They won in 2006.  They incidentally beat this same Dallas Maverick team...This team that had to wait through a Boston championship and back to back Lakers championships before they got a crack at redemption...






That said....Let me get to the real reason I'm writing this...Since the Dallas Mavericks won, Some people, okay, a lot of people, have gotten on their moral high horses and lost their rabid minds with hatred and vitriol aimed at one man, Lebron James!

I don't understand it...People act as if the Miami Heat's loss was his fault and his fault alone...Newsflash, there are 12 men on that team...Four other guys on the court at all times...Any one of those guys could have stepped up and made plays...It's not his  fault alone that the Heat lost.



Add to that...People are cheering his team's defeat as though it's their personal victory , especially the people in Cleveland and elsewhere in his home state of Ohio...Here are some examples of the extra foolishness that has occurred in just two days since the NBA finals ended...(Even Betty White ,who co-incidentally stars on the hit TV series, "Hot in Cleveland" got in on the act...She roasted Lebron on the David Letterman show Monday night.)

1. The present governor of the state of Ohio.....The GOVERNOR mind you!....got on Television and made a motion that the members of the Dallas Mavericks are now "Honorary citizens of the state of Ohio"  I kid you not...Can you believe that? Hey Gov...aint you got important things to worry about, like Unemployment????

2. In Cleveland...a Deli owner renamed a sandwich that had previously been called a "Lebron James", a "Dirk Nowitski"  Again...This really happened...I'm not making this up.

3. At a downtown Cleveland Sports Bar...All of Lebron James's sports memorabilia has been removed and donated to charity...

Last but not least.....The childish owner of the Cleveland Cavs tweeted his congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks and while not calling Lebron James by name...He took a stab at him by mentioning that Dirk Nowitski re signed with the Mavericks, a team he has played for his entire NBA career and stayed there until he got a championship....That is admirable , but it is also his choice...If he had decided after his contract was up to take his talents to Philadelphia , (where they are badly needed, )I don't think Mark Cuban, (as badly as he has behaved in the past) would have stirred up the froth that the Cleveland Cavs owner has stirred up in Cleveland.

As much as I feel Cleveland's pain....(I live in Philadelphia, so you know I know)....The fans there have to understand this....Lebron James owes you nothing...He played there for 8 or 9 years...His contract was up...He was a free agent...He had a right to go to another team if he wanted to...Athletes do it all the time....in every sport.  Delonte West left, Shaquille O'Neal also left and there is none of the froth, none of the hatred directed at them that I see being directed at Lebron James.

Granted...I thought that that one hour Television special-"The Decision" was the stupidest thing I ever heard of in my life(yet I watched it, like everybody else) and that parade the three of them, Bosh, James and Wade took part in ,in Miami in which one of them (I think it was Lebron James) predicted" six or seven NBA titles" was equally silly...but I'm going to write that off to youth...But if that's all he's guilty of.....I don't get all of the hatred and ridicule....

He's broken no laws, He's not married so he hasn't cheated on his wife ...He only has one child as far as I know, He hasn't been caught with a firearm, or been caught urinating in public or with drugs or sent photos of his genitals over Facebook and Twitter to young girls, so again, why so much Lebron bashing?

I sat with amazement all season and watched all of America boo The Miami Heat everywhere they went...I could not understand it....They're just a Basketball team folks...and a damn good one too...They came very close to winning it all....I may not have rooted for them, but I certainly don't hate the Miami Heat....and they beat my 76ers after all...

America....It's Only Basketball....





Somewhere, a man named Kobe Bryant (who like Lebron ,is also a man without a home) is smiling!

6 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

Why is Kobe without a home? He spent enough time in Italy with he Pops, of whom Kobe is a carbon copy with even more talent? (or have you forgotten how Jellybean expected to get his shots with on a line up that include, the Doctor, George McGinnis, Doug Collins, Lloyd Free, Bobby Jones, and Steve Mix). He did not belong to Philly, playing high school ball there being high school ball. LeBron was the rare person who was able to grow up and play for his hometown team.

When LeBron first showed inklings that he was not going to resign with Cleveland, I put it off to his wanting to get out of town because that is what many people do when they go to college. They spend 4 - 6 years exposed to different cultures and people from different parts of this grand country who have also spent time traveling the world and I thought he may have envied that. Secondly, having grown up in a Midwest town that is down on its luck, home may be where the heart is, but not the head. At first, my thought was that he was ill of his hometown. He had to grow up there and each day reminded him of how his struggles and dislikes of Cleveland was still with him in spite of his talents. Even if he now lived where the rich people did in his hometown, everything would be associated with deprivation as much as it was his success. Ugh, I would tire of that too, people who could say they knew me when without actually having to had any knowledge of me directly, but because my story and their experience grants them familiarity to me, they get to claim it.

Not to drag his Mother into this, but not only was the rumors of her liason with a teammate troubling, it was another in a series of social faux pas she had made while in Cleveland. Again, I put myself in his shoes. When I had my small success in my chosen sport, when I returned to my hometown, people would greet me warmly but then gather to whisper about how 'he ain't all that' and 'remember when Ray Ray busted him up?' So I could imagine that got to him as well.

Then there is his style of play. As talented as he is, I never thought of him as a Jordan-like cat. That he had to be all things on the Cavaliers weighed on him. He actually does seem to be a facilitator in the vein of a Magic Johnson than a Michael Jordan (more on that later). It may have bothered him that he HAD to play the way he did in Cleveland and that was not as fulfilling to him as it was to be a part of something, you feel me.

But another thing that to me is also unmistakable is his propensity to shrink in big moments. As I mentioned Magic, like Bird, and Jordan, there is a killer instinct that takes over in them that Lebron may not have. Dirk Nowitski did not have it and he does now, so he can get 'it'. But there is something else to his not having 'it' that showed up in his game and in the game of Bosh and Wade. It was that THEY did not have 'it' either!!

In this era where young people feel entitled to success because that is what they want, forget about the work or circumstance involved, none of the trio understood what has to be done under times of difficulty. Dewayne Wade had Shack to act as a buffer for his ring, so all he had to do is play. Too many times the three cats for the Heat were looking around for someone to do what anyone could have done... but no one did.

As to when it comes to the vitriol being heaped on LBJ, how does the saying goes... if you reap the wind you will sow the whirlwind or something like that. No one asked him to make a spectacle of his 'Decision' nor did anyone ask if he thought they would win 5,6, or 7 titles. In fact, should the Heat win ONE title, they will be fortunate.

Big Mark 243 said...

Going back to that Sixer team... they were at least as good as the current Heat squad... and they only won it once. Talent rarely trumps chemistry, though sometimes you can have both. Even if the Heat gets to develop chemistry (which is going to be difficult to do, IMO), something you can't ever have both of is sympathy and arrogance. Hubris falls hard and the Heat and Lebron were full of both.

When it comes to his teammates not being able to convert key plays... uh, again, while LBJ never said he was 'this', he has profited and allowed himself to be hyped as 'that', and has contributed to his negative legacy as much as his idolization may have been put upon him. I think you are being a bit disingenuous with saying LBJ had teammates. See, I remember when Magic drop 42 playing center against the Sixers... sure, there were other player on his team but when you are at that champions level, skill is in abundance. For you to make the claim of greatness, that is the stage you must perform well on, and right now, Lebron has yet to do so.

I really don't care too much about whether or not he ever is a winner or his place in history. But in an era where self-entitlement allows people to await recognition for 'almost', the scorn that comes his way has been earned. So I don't think it is fair to blame the haters for doing what they do when Lebron has profited and even baited (because though he was correct, we still have our crap lives while he has one of luxury... and he MEANT his statement that way) many people, I don't feel one way or the other... I do like to pontificate, and that is what I did right here..!

Peace,
Mark

Keith said...

Kobe Bean Bryant was born in Philadelphia PA. August 1979!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Let the Church say amen with this post!
For me there are more important matters to take care of first,basketball or any sports is re-creation!

Arlene said...

Well I was disappointed that the Heat lost the series. I just love Miami!! The city and our many cousins who live there. I could not cheer too loudly because my brother lives and cheers for the Mavericks. We'll have to reconcile at family reunion!!

P.S. Big Mark: The quote you mentioned is from the Bible. Hosea 8:7 says, "They have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind." I like to use that for the teapublicans, so busy cutting others that they don't realize they are the ones bleeding. Case in point: Tornado devastation in Joplin; republican request for budget write-off before help is sent. Are these the compassionate conservatives??

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