Friday, July 9, 2010

Just One More "One More Word".

Not to be contrarian, but I think LeBron James acted like a dick last night.

The biggest crime involved in his "press conference" was that it was boring. He took three seconds of relevant information, stretched it out over one hour, and then managed to make it feel like three hours. If you want to piss me off, be boring. Mission accomplished.

(As an aside, I remember when Jim Gray developed a reputation on asking very difficult questions of maniacs like Mike Tyson, in the heat of the moment. Nice to see him take the role of Sycophantic LeBron Jock Sniffer. It was actually Michael Wilbon who brought up the touchier "Ya know, they're already burning your jersey" line of questioning. Which is why I actually like the guy.)

I won't get into the NBA X's and O's of this, because what do I know about the NBA? D-Wade, to me, is still the guy from Marquette who torched poor Julius Page in the NCAA tournament. Needless to say, they are clearly an excellent team, even if the rest of the roster is filled out with minimum contract scrubs.

But, I really do believe that if you want to be considered among the greatest of your sport, it matters how you win. And anything short of establishing a true legacy would qualify as a career failure for LeBron.

Mario Lemieux and Michael Jordan both jump right into mind. They were both drafted by awful franchises, surrounded by inferior talent, and went well into their twenties before tasting championship success. Mario didn't bail on the Pens and demand a trade when he was flanked by Rob Brown and Warren Young. MJ didn't beg out of Chicago after years of disappointment suffered at the hands of the Celtics and later the Pistons "Waaah, I want to play with Hakeem Olajuwon". They stayed, and they virtually created a championship legacy out of thin air.

I'm sorry, but not all championships are created equally. (NOTE: LeBron still has the pesky task of winning a championship). Does anyone honestly think that A-Rod's World Series championship with Yankees does as much for his legacy as lifting the Mariners to a title would have? (Another aside, but anyone who claims that LeBron as an individual deserves no criticism because he just wants to win, they better not criticize the Yankees as a franchise, because it's clear they put winning first, as well, consequences be damned.)

So, LeBron is an expensive mercenary. Sorry if I'm already bored by the idea.


schuyler101 said...

In Jordan's 3rd year he got Scottie Pippen as a sidekick, one of the 50 greatest players ever. It was apparent early Pippen would be good and he was an impact player by his 3rd year. Let's stop ballwashing Michael Jordan because he didn't ask out of Chicago. At times Pippen was arguably the 2nd best player in basketball, certainly in the top 5.

The Lebron-Yankee comparison just doesn't work because you're comparing a team and a player. The Yankees are about winning but more importantly maximizing profits, LeBron showed he is not about maximizing personal profit, let's applaud him for that.

Brennan said...

It's funny that you don't want to compare LeBron to the Yankees, because he has apparently been a front-runner his whole life, growing up rooting for the Yankees and the Cowboys. He would gladly compare himself to the Yankees.

I'd say Pippen's numbers didn't spike until his 5th year, Jordan's 7th. And his only huge numbers came when Jordan was whiffing at curve balls and Pippen got to dominate the ball.

I'll always remember Pippen as the dog who refused to go back into a playoff game, leaving Toni Kukoc to take the final shot.

I prefer my basketball players like I prefer my beer pong players... clutch. A real champion wins the big game even if his beer pong partner is a girl, or his basketball partner is Mo Williams.