The NBA Scam: We Got Suckered

Bert PhoenixContributor IMay 28, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 26:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts while playing against the Orlando Magic in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the Amway Arena on May 26, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

We got suckered. From the real experts to the faux versions, hardcore fans to the ones who wear the hats and jerseys because it’s cool, people who love the NBA to those who wouldn’t know it from the NRA.

Snookered. Hosed. Hoodwinked. Fooled. Pick your verbal poison and swallow hard.

This has been the coronation season for LeBron James. Even former Lakers great Jerry West was recently quoted as saying James has surpassed Kobe Bryant as the best player in the game.

Of course, this comment could have been due to the fact that there’s a nasty rumor going around that Kobe’s silhouette was being prepared to replace West's as the symbol for the NBA.

I made that last one up, of course. But, seeing as we live in the age of completely fabricated and unsubstantiated stories floating around the web like verbal excrement, I didn’t think it would harm anyone to cause a moment of gasp and awe.

I digress.

This season would see LBJ (the player, not the former President of course, for I doubt Lyndon Baines Johnson had much of a dunk to begin with) stand side-by-side with Michael Jordan as the most exciting, thrilling, captivating, stupendous, (wait, let me get out that book of hyperbole to see if there are any more to add here), nasty, awe-inspiring, legendary, (OK, that ought to do it), human being to ever lace up sneakers on a wooden floor.

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There was even talk about LeBron going right from the NBA Title game winner to the Indians' roster to save another dismal season of the “Dolan Disaster”, thus proving anything MJ could do, he could do better.

Of course when it comes to baseball that would mean getting more than two base hits in a week.

Rumor thing again. Don’t panic.

The only time the MJ-LBJ comparison yarn becomes a story is when the sports media hits a down day with nothing controversial to note, thus reaching into the bag of topics sure to always generate discussion and phone calls.

Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame. Best and worst plays in a franchise season. Megan Fox or Kim Kardashian on the “which one would you hit first?” list. That sort of thing.

LeBron did his part and delivered a season for the ages, single-handedly lifting the Cavaliers into title contention, despite being surrounded by players in supporting roles that, without their fearless leader, would have been working on a series of 15-day contracts beginning in March.

Sweeping the Pistons and Hawks; an indication of greatness? Yeah, we bought into that one as well.

The Pistons were about as dangerous and effective as the GM Board of Directors. The Hawks were less intimidating than a Friday night in the club section of Buckhead, GA.

Along comes the Orlando Magic. Orlando? Home of Mickey, Minnie, Shamu, and more rednecks than a Jeff Foxworthy concert? Are you serious?

You bet your frozen Walt Disney ass. A real team from roster top to bottom. A head coach who has to work and scheme instead of waiting for one player to run the show. The most under-appreciated player in the NBA in Dwight Howard.

Sure, I understand LeBron and mates can rally and win three consecutive games to retake their title as “The Team That Cannot Miss” this NBA season.

However, a moment of pause as I quote the great philosopher Roger Daltrey.

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