Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Take LeBron's tweet threat seriously

It’s easy to slap LeBron James in the face off the court, where he’s merely a tall, wealthy famous guy. 

But James provided a stark reminder in 140 characters or less that he wasn’t the most coveted free agent in NBA history because he acts like a douche in Las Vegas. 

“Don’t think for one min that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!” KingJames Tweeted on Tuesday. 

Oh yeah, LeBron is the most talented basketball player in the universe. It’s easy to forget in the summer of LeBron where today is more outlandish than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.  

Don’t even try to make sense of TMZ’s scoop of LeBron paying a rabbi six figures to attend a business meeting and become his spiritual guide. It’s all so bizarre because LeBron once seemed more Kobe than Shaq -- a preps-to-riches baller obsessed with basketball and void of personality.

No, James is increasingly Shaq-like eccentric, and what 25-year-old worth hundreds of millions of dollars shouldn’t be? 

Yet he’s famous, and worthy of this attention, because he’s Magic Johnson on steroids. And that’s what LeBron wanted to remind the world of yesterday. 

Our lasting image of Basketball James was an epic fail, a kid who strolled (not hustled) off the court with a bum elbow and an embarrassing playoff series against Boston.

Embarrassing, in the Lebronopedia, still meant 26.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in a six game series. 

In the months since, James has had plenty of time to think. First about his future, and now about his image. 

When he’s not studying the Talmud, LeBron is listening and reading. He’s heard all the talk about how he’s the second-best player on his own team, and it’s a fair assertion. It’s just not true. 

If you believe Magic and Michael, LeBron will never join their elite circle because he joined Dwyane Wade’s team. 

Consider that Magic, Jordan and Bird played in a different time, when competition drove society. Those were the days of Soviet rivalry and Rocky IV. LeBron grew up with Entourage and Jersey Shore. It’s all about your boys. 

Don’t think, however, that LeBron isn’t a competitor. He’s already had classic duels with Wade, and he will be out to prove that no matter how much of a killer instinct Wade exhibits, James is the best player in the world and certainly the best player on his team. 

It won’t drive his game, or else he wouldn’t have joined the Heat, but James has so much to prove this year. 

Remember LeBron’s shootout with Paul Pierce in Game 7 of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference, when James dominated with 45 points? It might have been the best losing performance in league history. 

Think back, even further, when a 22-year-old LeBron led a Cleveland Cavaliers team that had no business playing for the championship, to the NBA Finals. 

Kobe Bryant, the best player of the last decade, never would have led that Cavs team to the Finals. 

Yes, James fell hard against the Celtics last season, and while the best of the best should never have excuses, this came at a time when LeBron had little to prove. He was about to become the top free agent in the game regardless of his performance, and there were rumors of locker room discontent. 

LeBron’s perception took an even nastier hit this summer, with the ill-fated ESPN special and the Decision to team with up with buddies.

But come Oct. 26, when LeBron returns for an eighth season, he’ll take all his mental notes and anguish out on his doubters and the rest of the NBA. And he’ll remind us why we gawk at him in the first place. 


  1. 305 in the house. the miami heat will be champs next season

  2. my balls are inches...