Call him what you want, a band wagoner, a loser, a whiner (no, that's not a typo for "winner"), but I just don't like LeBron James or the way the NBA forces himself upon us, the fans and the media.
Let's look at the facts:
- In high school, the kid was dubbed "The King" before he'd ever done anything. If that doesn't cause an already young and immature kid to think even more highly of himself than he probably already did, nothing will.
- His games were televised on national TV in high school (I know, he's not the first and he won't be the last, but again, that just over-inflates the ego of a young kid).
- LeBron entered the league wearing No. 23 because he wanted to be like Jordan--excuse me, the next Jordan.
- He is a bandwagon "fan" of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, and Chicago Bulls. Huh. I thought he was a Midwest kid from Akron. Shouldn't he be loyal to the Browns, Cavs, and Indians first? Oh, wait, I forgot, they don't win enough for him. I guess he's just an accurate representation of his generation.
- In 2009, don't forget it was James's friend who allegedly fought with former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards. A few days later, when this became public, it was Edwards who was shipped out of town. (Since we can't add links in our articles anymore under the new B/R format, don't believe me? Google "Braylon Edwards' altercation with LeBron James friend" and the first thing that comes up: "LeBron James: Cleveland Browns WR Braylon Edwards "childish" for alleged fight." If that doesn't scream Godfather of Cleveland, I don't know what does.)
- He childishly walked off the court following the upset Celtics win, in which he didn't even shake hands and was slow to address the media.
- The way he handled "The Decision," the team he chose, and now beating down (through the media) a no-name third-tier player, in Anthony Tolliver, of the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves who just just having a little fun at LeBron's expense with his spoof YouTube video "The Decision, part Deux!" (which, again, you can search)
As shown in a recent Minneapolis Star Tribune article, "LeBron James puts Wolves' Tolliver on short 'list' (which can be found at: http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/106357428.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUnciaec8O7EyUsl), in regard to Miami's next opponent, Minnesota, after Friday's win over Orlando, a begrudging James responded to the question of whether he saw Tolliver's video with "I didn't see it, but I heard about it. We play Minnesota twice."
Ooohh. I'm so scared, "King" LeBron. What are you gonna do? Take out your aggressions on a weak, insignificant 15-win Western Conference team at home in American Airlines Arena? Are you gonna score 46 points just to "show them" or "show them up?"
You play on a superior team, with a better supporting cast in your two cronies, Wade and Tag-Along Bosh, who couldn't get the job done by himself--well, neither could you for that matter, in crappy ghost-town Cleveland, so both of you hot-shots carpetbagged down to "Souf-beach," as you put it in your crappy "The Decision" interview to overtake South Florida (and with it, the Eastern Conference and the NBA?).
I expect you to win. You have all the advantages, all the intangibles. The fact that you are rearing to take it out on a bench player for having some obvious fun confirms to me what a jerk you are. But then again, you are all about yourself. You can crybaby Bosh.
Talk about being childish. But I have to remind myself that this man-child is indeed only 25 years old himself and has had everything handed to him his entire life.
I'd like to think the Wolves will put up a good fight and at least make it close. I'd like to think if hell froze over, they might get the last laugh with Tolliver playing a significant role in a Wolves stunning victory.
Don't get me wrong, Tolliver's not a stiff. He's got some game (you will find out soon enough), some flare, some excitement, and some burst. But let's be serious--he's not on LeBron's level, and he and LeBron both know it. LeBron unfortunately took it too far, and everyone else be damned.
As for the Wolves, what have they got to lose? Nothing. No one expects anything from them this game, or this year anyway.
What have you got to lose, LeBron? Everything. Can you imagine if the Heat lost? I hope 290-pound Nikola Pekovic has something to say about MeBron all night long.
The fact LeBron seems to be targeting lowly players and teams shows there is no limit to his childish grudge, one that should last all season as his "Us against the World Tour" continues all season, but one that should hardly surprise us.
No comparison to Jordan
Growing up, Michael Jordan was an icon. Sure, you didn't like him but you couldn't help but respect him. When the Bulls won their first title in 1991, I admit I was on that bandwagon going so far as to pulling a LeBron and buying a Bulls ball cap.
In second grade, as part of an assignment, I wrote to Jordan and got some Chicago Bulls merchandise, the only thing of which I remember was a Chicago Bulls bumper sticker in return.
I didn't like Jordan, because no one likes someone who wins too much (or at least disproportionately), but he was the only guy I knew that could score 70 on any given night. On top of that, he stayed out of trouble, and his teams won.
Why? Because, like the Bulls, they win too much. But for the first time in my life, I find myself cheering for Kobe against the Heat if and when it comes to that.
Kobe might be the only hope, certainly the best one, to stopping the so-called dynasty in South Beach.
Forced dynasty fueled by hype
Disregarding the crooked way the Heat were formed with loopholes in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement--i.e Larry Bird rights, allowing the Heat to go over the cap in order to keep Wade and Haslem--doesn't it feel like the Heat are already defending champions? I mean, it certainly seems like it from a casual standpoint.
Remember just two years ago when Miami won only 15 games after Wade got hurt? Now fans come out of the woodwork?
The Bulls dynasty was allowed to develop. Of course, we had more competition in the forms of the Lakers and Pistons, but still. I didn't get the feeling there were only 2 teams in the NBA: the Bulls and whoever they were playing. Yet that's how I feel about how the NBA is marketing the 2010 Miami Heat.
How can we embrace LeBron when he is shoved in our faces from day one for the purposes of marketing?
Did the four-time defending champion Spurs get this much love and attention? What about the 2005 Pistons after they won the championship?
No, of course not, but then again, we've never seen a paper champion like this before.
Maybe I'm the only one who's confused about why LeBron has to pick on a small-market team that is so far beneath his caliber and talent level. Maybe it's just me defending my own team, one that doesn't get much love even from its own fans.
Maybe I'm the only one who's sick of LeBron's grip on the NBA and the fact that his image is forced on us, so much so that we are not given a choice whether to like him (as we were with Jordan, or anyone from the '70s-90s).
Maybe it's just me who thinks that if he can do this to my team, he's gonna find a reason to come after yours.
Perhaps you cut in front of him one day at lunch. Perhaps you didn't shake his hand after a game (or wait, I forgot, MeBron doesn't do that, either!). Perhaps you coughed in his direction or didn't return his calls. I don't know, but all I know is that I wouldn't want to be you.
Sometimes I wonder how soon it will be before the NBA's goon-squad knocks at my door, only to whisk me away for talking such blasphemy against The King?
Probably right after they get done with everyone else on the list first. Get in line. You'll likely yourself somewhere between me and Charles Barkley.
Or MeBron could just be doing a bad Santa Claus rendition, you know "making a list and checking it twice?"
Talk about childish.
Information and references from ESPN.com, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and YouTube directly contributed to the content of this article.