Posts Tagged ‘Lebron James’

9.8, it’s not just the number of ounces in a Powerade bottle; it’s also the number of seconds it took for the national media to latch on to Derrick Rose as the next big thing, the second coming of Jordan and the humble superstar to captivate all our hearts.

            Let me preface this rant by stating that Derrick Rose is a great player. He deserved to win the regular season MVP award and in my opinion, will be a star in this league for years to come. His lackluster performance in the Eastern Conference Finals was a combination of tired legs from carrying the Bulls all season, and from the stifling Heat defense, specifically when LeBron James guarded him.

            It’s funny to see the reactions of prominent media members, “objectively” stating their disgust after a Bulls loss, while placing the blame on who they now claim to be an overrated Rose. So he was the greatest player since Jordan just a few months ago, but is now undeserving of his MVP trophy? Methinks there are ulterior motives at play here….

            The sad truth is Derrick Rose was unfairly crowned as savior to the thousands of non-Heat fans, all rooting against the King. He’s too young and too inexperienced to bear the weight of all this pressure, bestowed upon him by the bitter media determined to fight the “evil one” himself.

I get it. It was easy to pick this quiet kid as a sort of martyr, representing the slighted of the basketball world. He doesn’t talk trash, has the necessary skills and seems determined to do it all by himself (unlike the Big 3). Face it; he’s the perfect “anti-Lebron.” He’s the Superman to Lebron’s Lex Luthor, the Batman to James’ Joker, the Captain Am….eh, you get it.

We’re all beginning to “witness” that whether you love him or hate him, LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. He is better than Rose. He is better than Kobe. He is even better than his own teammate Wade. That pisses a lot of people off, those chugging the “Haterade.” I truly pity the MVP now that the Bulls are eliminated and the media’s fixation with him is done, his greatness forgotten, left to wallow in the emptiness of Jordan’s shadow.

The desperate media now move on to their last remaining hope against a LeBron championship, the final obstacle standing in the way of his rings: The German Larry Bird, the greatest shooter ever, the true MVP….until he loses and gets completely ripped and casted aside like his predecessors.

I feel for you, Dirk.

– Carlos Sanchez

Inspired by this article from True Hoop blogger Henry Abbott, ‘your humble narrator’ has set out to define the true meaning of ‘clutch.’

To establish a baseline for my opinions, it is important to note that I am in no way a stats guy. I tend to look past the numbers, and feel there are more compelling stories in sports outside of how many points a player scores. However, the ultimate goal of any athlete is to win, to define his or her legacy by championships, along with the ability to carry a team during ultimate hardship.

Based on these leadership qualities, my interpretation of clutch players would be those who most efficiently put their team in the greatest position to win. Simple? Yes. Easily accepted among fans? Not so much. I’ve never understood the obsession, among fans and even media members, with the so-called ‘it factor.’ This non-existent will to persevere, to never accept losing and to emotionally push a team to victory, just doesn’t seem realistic to me. Call me a skeptic, but don’t all players want to win? Isn’t the goal to play at the highest level possible regardless of game magnitude?

Kobe Bryant is constantly lauded for having an “assassin” mentality, fortitude far greater than most of the league, which enables him to take over in last second situations when his team desperately needs a score. Based on the stats, and more importantly my own eyesight, I refuse to believe that someone with his type of game should ever be considered as “clutch.” When the vast majority of the team’s final shots are being taken—and missed—by him, he’s far from being a good captain and trying to ensure the best opportunity for victory.

The smart basketball move for all “superstars” should be to draw the defense in, look for an open teammate, and attempt the shot with greatest odds. The smart basketball move takes the glory and ego away from said stars, and certainly does not drive jersey sales. The smart basketball move doesn’t provide us with an epic television moment, but it does win games. Shouldn’t that count the most when it comes to a player’s legacy? Well it certainly does not, and if you weren’t already aware of that, just ask LeBron James and his “large-testicle” friend.

– Carlos Sanchez

Everyone in the country, outside of the residents in Miami and a small population about 40 miles south of Cleveland, hates LeBron James. We get it. He’s the villain. He’s the one kicking the Cavs while they’re down (see: Lakers beat down of D-League team). While the King wills his current team to utter dominance, bathes in money and beautiful women, and kicks back in the only state NOT to be knee-deep in snow, faithful “Ohioans” are made to suffer in mediocrity.

The new (not AARP members) “Big 3” gets the most crap for planning all of this, for deciding – in advanced – to become free agents in the same summer, and for essentially, firmly grabbing the entire league by its tiny testicles. But how is what Carmelo Anthony is currently doing not infinitely more selfish? And more importantly, why are fans not expressing their “insightful” opinions on this issue?

Two high-profile athletes: one with seven years of loyal service and the term “free agent” firmly positioned before his name, another in the middle of a contract, determined to leverage his way out of a losing situation, amidst a circus of promises from ring-masters like Jay-Z and Spike Lee. The term “collusion” was thrown around a lot when Bosh, Wade and LeBron took their talents to South Beach, so what does the public have say about the texting between Amar’e and Carmelo, the whispers of sweet nothings and pleas to join forces?

So ultimately, what should ‘Melo do? Should he stay classy? Should he remain loyal to the franchise that brought him into the league, or bolt for a chance to win titles? Should he accept his legacy as a villain, or continue to be a role model for hypocrisy? What should he do? I don’t blame him for wanting to win AND make the most money, but I also have some common sense and an unbiased view on the situation. Best of luck to anyone trying to find those same qualities in fans from Cleveland, New York, Newark, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Boston, Atlanta…err, you get the point.

Delusion is the essence of what it means to be a fan. The overplayed hopes of a franchise drive consumers to purchase game tickets, sport merchandise and spend ludicrous amounts on concessions. It is this common bond that unites cities, entire fan bases with the same skewed logic and biased perception of how they compare to the rest of the world. Sports are funny that way. Most of the time, plain facts and logic are completely forgotten. A statistic, the sole entity that determines the winner and the loser, is ignored, brushed aside for the brute emotions shared by all fanatics.

Enter the metropolis of New York. It is the “Mecca” of sporting events and the “greatest city on Earth.” Ask any of its citizens, and a game at Yankee Stadium or Madison Square Garden becomes a once in a lifetime experience, eclipsing anything an outsider could ever encounter. But where does this sense of entitlement come from? Are they born with this notion that they’re simply better than everyone else? If the recent choices by high-profile free agents Cliff Lee and LeBron James tell us anything, it’s that maybe New York isn’t the holy land it’s made out to be.

Growing up in a town where it always seemed like the supporters from the rest of the country outnumbered the locals, I’ve yet to encounter a fan base that has won less, yet bragged more than those of the New York teams. If their teams aren’t going to the post-season or winning titles, then there is no point in watching. If the best athletes aren’t playing in their town and their teams aren’t prominent, it’s “not good for the league.” Part of the blame for this attitude lies with the media, who consistently over hype the stature of the New York teams, part of it is simply the allure of the big city, the “sexiness” of being showcased on ESPN and “Hard Knocks.”

It is the world we live in, New York’s world, a place where the rest are second best, regardless of record, a place where titles are won before the season even starts and where the best should want to play, because cash has become more important than competition. If knee-jerking was a sport, New York would always be in first place. Newsflash for the Big Apple: you’re not the greatest fans in all of sports, but you are the greatest dopes, the ultimate gluttons for misery and false perception.

– Carlos Sanchez

Just months after his ultimate “decision,” the six words that changed the basketball landscape, forever remain in infamy: “Taking my talents to South Beach.” A single statement that caused the nation to turn against a King, and a city left in shambles, made to play the role of a helpless victim. It’s easy to point out the villain in this story, right?

The heartless millionaire, who gave up his legacy and some of his paycheck to join other superstars; a spoiled prodigy, abandoning his hometown on national television, fleeing for the bright lights and parties of Miami. Seven years of loyal service, never a gripe, never a complaint, never a demand to be traded – unlike that of a diva “serpent.” All of this dedication, forgotten by the single lighting of a number 23 jersey, set a flame to the tune of rigorous boos.

We’re told to feel bad for Cleveland, to sympathize with the underdog, a city constantly mocked by the sporting gods, but as time drifts on, who looks like the jerk in all of this? Certainly the fault is on Lebron, who has remained quiet and humble while his former fans drunkenly pick fights with one another in a 30-point blowout, or while his former owner publicly ripped him, a la the crushed ex-girlfriend. There’s no fault in tweeting “@KingJames” with racial slurs and death threats when you’re a dejected Cavs fan, because they’re the victims, remember?

Deep within this sarcasm-laced opinion piece is an important message, for all haters and non-haters alike: when it’s all said and done, Lebron will have the glory, he will have the rings, and he will be lauded as one of the greats. So keep up the hate, continue with the constant over-scrutinizing of every comment, every “shoulder bump” and even the number of fans in the stands. Find criticism in what you please, because we’ve won 10 straight, our weather is 80-degrees year round and we live where you come to vacation. The King has found his new empire, and South Beach sure doesn’t hate him.

– Carlos Sanchez

Kids are so cute at this age, especially when they’re using their words and not their fists to beat down Lebron James and his overinflated ego.  Happy Holidays Bron Bron.

It’s like they took the words right out of my mouth!