Not so Melo

Note: Many thanks to Wild Yams, whose run as our special correspondent for the Lakers ends with today's post. Give him a hand, everybody. Or, you know, whatever random body part you aren't using.

The Denver Nuggets: Last year it was the Lakers who sort of came out of nowhere and secured a top seed in the West before rolling through the conference playoffs. This year it was Denver's turn. And just like last year's Lakers, the Nuggets ended their strong run in rather humiliating fashion. Last June, L.A. wrapped up a dream season with a 39-point nightmare loss in Boston. This May, the Nuggets' finale was a 27-point home loss to the Lakers...proving once again that in every contest there must be one winner and one lee-HOO zeh-HER.

The Lakers basically beat Denver every which way a team could be beaten, winning every quarter of the game, outrebounding Denver by 11, doubling up Denver's assist total, shooting 14 percent better from the field and 14 percent better from three, taking one less free throw attempt but hitting four more than Denver did, and on it goes. I'm pretty sure their role players even did a better job of slapping high-fives and handing out Gatorade during timeouts. Seriously, the Nuggets played so poorly, it was like a judge had ordered the team to humiliate themselves on YouTube. Which isn't exactly unheard of.

One could say that Denver just didn't come to play in this game, but I think it was more a result of what George Karl said afterward: "In this series I saw little cracks in the Lakers and somehow we've cemented those cracks back up." I think that after sleepwalking through the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Lakers finally were challenged to play their best, and that's just what they did. The Nuggets defense clearly wasn't very good. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza combined to shoot 64 percent (34-for-53) and score 92 total points, equaling the Nuggets' entire team output. However, you have to give some credit to the Lakers for finally just showing up and playing to their considerable potential. Still, the Nuggets definitely deserve a lot of the blame for this loss, beginning in particular with...

Chauncey Billups: Mr. Big Shot came up awfully small with the season on the line, finishing with only 10 points on 2-for-7 shooting to go with 5 turnovers and 4 fouls. He also was way out "in front" on his team with the worst plus/minus score of -28. You could almost argue that Derek Fisher had the better game, because even though Billups had 5 more points and 5 more assists, Fisher had 4 fewer turnovers and only missed one shot to Chauncey's 5. Fisher being a +25 for the game helps a bit too.

Kenyon Martin, denial machine: After getting curbstomped at home to finish the season, Neck Lips had this to say: "I think we're better than them, actually, to be honest. But we didn't prove that. That's obvious, cause they're moving on and we're not. But I think we have a better team than they do. Some people are going to say maybe the experience of them getting to the Finals last year was a deciding factor. But I'm proud of these guys in this locker room. And I think as a whole, our team is better than their team." Come on, K-Mart, if AK Dave can admit the obvious, so can you.

Nene: He wasn't as limited with foul trouble as he'd been at other times in this series (though he still had 4 for the game), but in the 33 minutes of playing time he got, he didn't do nearly enough to help his team, recording only 8 points and 6 rebounds. Lucky for Nene, Dahntay Jones technically starts, otherwise Nene's 8 points would have been the lowest by a starter (Jones only had two points in 13 minutes). The fact that Nene broke his arm late in the 4th quarter pretty much capped off what was a poor night for the Brazilian center. Nene was also part of the Denver frontcourt which got shredded by Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom for 40 points and 20 rebounds. Another Denver big man who helped ease the way for LA's frontcourt dominance was...

Chris Andersen: On Friday the Birdman looked more like he did in the 2005 Slam Dunk Contest than he has lately in these playoffs, finishing with only 2 points and 2 boards. He did get 3 blocks and a steal, but his -19 plus/minus rating (third worst on the team) is pretty telling. Then again, maybe the plus/minus stat is somewhat misleading...

Andrew Bynum: It's pretty befuddling how Bynum could finish with a +16 despite finishing with only 2 points, 1 board and five missed shots in 22 minutes, but that's exactly what LA's young center did. Here's guessing that if he posts stat lines like that against Dwight Howard in The Finals, he won't continue to be on the positive side of the plus/minus stat.

Jeff Van Gundy: Basketbawful reader Justin B. needs somebody to talk to. And that somebody...is us.

I just wrote this to you guys, since I have no idea who else to tell this to.

My life came to a stand still with about 9:30 left in the 3rd quarter of the Lakers-Nuggets game. Mark Jackson made some reference to "best of both worlds" (I try to tune out these guys, because they're sadly and secretly becoming worse than the NBA referees at their respective jobs), to which Jeff Van Gundy said "Who are you? Hannah Montana? The best of both worlds?" Which was followed by an awkward silence as Jackson tried to figure out exactly what kind of response he should give, which turned out to be a forced chuckle and VG going on another 30 minute journey of listening to himself talk.

At that moment, several thoughts came into my mind: A) Does Jackson know who Hannah Montana is? B) How does Van Gundy know not only Montana, but her songs? C) Is this the first time in NBA history a sportscaster has referenced, totally out of context, a wannabe-sensation teenaged girl? D) Did he really just do that? Not in a regular season game, but in one of the biggest games of the playoffs? IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK TO JUST CALL THE GAME? (And while you're at it, keep the references to relevant people, in context of the game?)

Van Gundy also has 3 reoccurring themes throughout the series:

1. The word "contort" -- Chauncey Billups contorts his body to get fouled on jump shots, Kobe and 'Melo contort their bodies to finish plays at the rim, Billups contorts his body to get more fouls on jump shots, and Kobe contorts his body to get non-existent fouls.

2. The phrase "Kenyon Martin with the line drive" -- I'll admit, the first time it caught me off guard and was kind of funny. The next five times it popped out of his mouth I got tired of it. They weren't even line drives! He just substituted it in for the word "jumpshot."

3. The phrase "I love this, this is playoff basketball" -- his response to everything that's a foul, or a non-foul. He can't make up his mind if it's a foul or no a foul. oh wait, that's because he's always in favor of the refs.

My dad: He calls Chris Andersen the "Bird Guy" (Here he is, it's the Bird Guy!) and Zydrunas "Il-a-gow-kus." He can't get that extra 's' in there and it drives me crazy. Alright, so you don't need to know that but I dont have anyone else to tell. But seriously, is anyone else tired of Van Gundy?
It's not just you. Honestly, I loved the Breen/Jackson/Van Gundy trio at first. They were funny, played well off of each other and Van Gundy in particular often provided great coach-specific insight. (For example, one time he noted that Kobe Bryant is great at grabbing offensive rebounds off of missed free throws right before Kobe did just that.) Now it seems that instead of preparing for games, they just show up and try to let the magic happen. Well, it ain't happening.

Friday lacktion report: A blowout elimination game means...lacktivity! As Chris explains: "As the Lord Mamba puppet show moves on to the Finals for the second straight year, Andrew Bynum continues to demonstrate his potential in unspectacular fashion -- if by potential, you mean 'his ability to channel Jake Voskuhl for the fifth time this postseason.' In a 21:54 stint as starting big man, Bynum racked up a Voskuhl of 4:3 via three fouls and a giveaway against one made field goal and one board. George Karl's Nuggets finished off their year with Renaldo Balkman mining out a 1.6 trillion."

Mommy nooooo

The Cleveland Cavaliers: The best team in basketball? Apparently not, because they sure got out-teamed by the Magic in this series. And even though Orlando simply played better basketball, the Cavs did plenty to contribute to their own downfall. Kind of like that cop who tasered himself during an arrest. The Clevelanders got bushwhacked on the boards (47-34) and they bricked half of their free throws (11-for-22). Memo to the Cavaliers and their coaching staff: Rebounding and foul shooting are definite keys to winning. That is all. But not really. Let's address the author of Cleveland's many mistakes...

Mike Brown: Did Brown make a single successful adjustment in this series? Scratch that. Did he even make AN adjustment in this series? It's crazy. Remember: Mike won the Coach of the Year award. And he didn't just win...he freaking killed it. Brown received 55 first-place votes and earned 355 total points. Houston's Rick Adelman came in second with 151 points.

Mike Freeman of CBSSports wrote a column titled "What can Brown do for Cavs? Not very much" in which he said: "Mike Brown, the smart leader of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is a good coach. There's little question about that. Reasonable people can't dispute it. It also cannot be argued that the reigning Coach of the Year in Brown is receiving one of the more public and painful coaching beat-downs we've seen in a long time. ... Van Gundy has outwitted and outsmarted Brown, straining almost every conceivable tactical and emotional advantage out of his Orlando team while frustrating Brown and his Cavs." There's more but you get the idea. A Google search of "Mike Brown outcoached by Van Gundy" yields a healthy number of results. And one writer at NBA Fanhouse thinks Mike will be fired during the offseason.

Brown did so much wrong in this series it's hard to make a master list, but just a few of his boo-boos included feeding Zydrunas Ilguaskas and Anderson Varejao to the lions (via sticking them against Dwight Howard in single coverage), putting Delonte West (who's 6'4") on Hedo Turkoglu (who's 6'10"), having LeBron James cover Rafer Alston, asking Ben Wallace to defend Rashard Lewis at the three-point line at the end of Game 4, failing to utilize a deep bench (Sasha Pavlovic got five minutes in Game 6, and Joe Smith never got out of his warm-ups), etc. Hell, half the time he wasn't even addressing his team during timeouts. (I'm not the only one who noticed this.)

Bottom line: His CotY award was a sham. Not that he isn't a good coach in certain respects -- his players get after it on defense and seem to respect him -- but seriously...the fact that he has a CotY trophy in the bag when Jerry Sloan has NEVER won one keeps me up at night. That and the Internet porn. Okay, it's mostly the Internet porn. But that other thing has me pretty upset too. Wait, what was I talking about? Right! The Cavaliers. To be fair, it wasn't all Mike Brown. It was also...

Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ben Wallace: The Z-Man finished with 2 points (1-for-5), 7 rebounds and 4 fouls in 21 minutes. Big Ben logged 14 minutes and had 4 points (2-for-3) and 3 rebounds. And both men had their timbers shivered by Dwight Howard (40 points, 14-for-21, 14 rebounds and 4 assists). Did somebody glue their shoes to the floor? Maybe replace them with inflatable defenders? A roll of paper towels would have put up a better fight than those two guys. The beating was so bad that Wallace is considering retirement, which would mean walking away from the final year of his contract...and the $14 million it's worth. That's one serious case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mo Williams: He didn't have a bad game, exactly: 17 points, 6-for-12 from the field, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and a turnover. Still...those aren't exactly All-Star numbers are they? And to think, Mo guaranteed the Cavaliers were going to win this series. Instead, all Williams did was surpass Devin "We knew we were going to be a playoff team" Harris for the season's most catastrophic stat curse.

The Cleveland bench: Just tack them onto the bottom of the list of "Cavaliers Who Let LeBron Down in the 2009 Playoffs." Three guys got 10-plus minutes (Ben Wallace, Boobie Gibson and Wally Szczerbiak), and they combined for 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Sasha Pavlovic went scoreless in five minutes. Tarence Kinsey nearly had a one trillion. Joe Beast didn't play.

LeBron James: King Crab earned another award to go along with his MVP: A bad sportsmanship trophy. Why? Because he pulled a 1991 Detroit Pistons and stormed off the floor rather than slap palms with his buddy Dwight Howard or congratulate any of the other Magic players. Later, he shirked his responsibility as team captain, refusing to talk to the press, which forced Mo Williams to answer all the uncomfortable questions.

Naturally, once he was ready to speak again, LeBron dismissed his superdickery in standard "I'm not a jerk, just a winner" fashion...which the media loves. "It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them. I'm a winner. It's not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you're not going to congratulate them. ... I'm a competitor. That's what I do. It doesn't make sense for me to go over and shake somebody's hand." Wow. Sounds like somebody's suffering from a case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Dissing your victorious opponents and then claiming that's what winners do...well, if that's not narcissistic, I don't know what is. Seriously, even the schmos at eHow.com know how to be a good loser. Why doesn't the league's Most Valuable Player? FACEPALM. (Thanks to Jan K. R. N. for the facepalmery.)

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53 Comments:
Blogger Bcstein said...
After this Mike Brown fiasco, I think it's officially time to prevent the coach of the team with the MVP from winning COTY.

I'm really having a hard time figuring out which was a bigger COTY travesty: Avery Johnson in 2006, or Mike Brown in 2009?

These guys are making Dirk seem like a no-brainer MVP choice.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I'm glad to see LeBron's poor sportsmanship get spotlighted on here. That was really, really classless to not shake anyone's hand and to shirk his responsibility by not talking to the media. He then compounded his classlessness with that interview the next day. He oughtta get raked over the coals by the media for that, but I'm not sure if that's what will happen.

Anonymous DKH said...
Just curious: Did LeBron ever complain about the refereeing in this series? I know he even said the traveling was a good call.

I ask because there was a lot of complaining about referees from Howard and Van Gundy throughout the series (even after wins), and that doesn't seem very sportsmanlike, but no one's calling them out. Just an overall silly storyline to me.

Blogger Cortez said...
"I think we're better than them, actually, to be honest."

Other ridiculous things that people used to think.

...the earth is flat.
...the sun revolves the earth.
...2009 Nuggets = 2004 Pistons.
...Jones was going to hinder Bryant in any fashion what so ever.

(just needling you a bit more AKDave!)

"But we didn't prove that."

Yeah, you didn't.

That move by LeBron was a) unexpected and b) real classless. And his follow-up of "I sent them an email" was equally garbage.

That goes to highlight the fact that, despite the constant harping on the "close friendships" these players share, they aren't really friends at all.

Plus his analogy to being beat up in a fight, as if the Magic caught him in a dark alley and stole his wallet, was really far fetched also.

Blogger Bcstein said...
Bah, my timeline is off. Forgot that Avery won the year before Dirk's MVP.

Freaking Sam Mitchell in 2007. Another winner of a pick.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Avery Johnson in 2006, or Mike Brown in 2009"

The thought of these two hacks winning COTY is mindboggling.

Their teams were successful DESPITE their "coaching".

Blogger Future Guy said...
Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought of the 1991 Pistons when LeBron walked off the court like that.

I think the fact that the Crabs won 66 games this season really highlights how much the league has been hurt by over-expansion. This Cleveland team reminds me of those 1980s Chicago teams that were nothing but Michael Jordan and a bunch of has-beens and never-will-bes. You'd never have expected a team whose second-best player was Orlando Woolridge to win a playoff series, much less a championship. Likewise, if your second best player is Mo Williams, then you were lucky to get to the Conference Finals. I'm glad to see a team in the Finals that actually stands a chance of beating The Los Angeles Muppets - er, Mambas.

OpenID andythesaint said...
Rip Jeff Van Gundy all you want, but to say "he's always in favor of the refs" is just plain wrong. He's been ripping the refs throughout the playoffs, and the league for their stances on technical fouls.

Anonymous Ruben said...
What did you all expect from a guy who has "chosen 1" tattooed on his back, and a guy who will pack a sad when Tiger Woods beats him in becoming the first billionaire sportsplayer? Why do most superstars have to be douchebags? Steve Nash must be rolling over in his grave.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
I am personally an Avery Johnson proponent. I don't know why, I just am.

This may be the least enjoyable Finals ever for me. I now have much hate for Dwight Howard/the Magice, and of course only Laker fans want to see Kobe's smug face celebrating a new ring.

Curse you Cavaliers! Curse you Magic!

OpenID NarSARSsist said...
I totally agree Yams. I highly doubt that the media would get on his case though (maybe about snubbing them for the media session, but I think they'll gloss over his poor sportsmanship with articles about how he singlehandedly saved the Cavs, the NBA, and kittens trapped in a house on fire while simultaneously making his teammates better and the world a better place). I may have defended him in that post basketbawful so graciously put up (many thanks by the way, it's nice to have an opinion be deemed to be worth something), but I still don't like the way the guy carries himself.

In fact, looking around, AP's article about that, titled "Cleveland Cavaliers star Lebron James skips out on reporters after Game 6 loss" (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2009/news/story?id=4218722) is a pretty thinly veiled attempt at exactly what I thought they'd do. Despite the article title, roughly 5/6 of the article was devoted to going around getting interviews and talking about what a great player Lebron is.

Blogger BadDave said...
Ruben - that's your best comment ever. I'm totally using "pack a sad" at work so I sound clever and stuff.

And a special thanks for Bawful, reminding me that even if he becomes a zombie and coaches 1,000 years, Sloan has never and never will win Coach of the Year, despite making quality teams with a wide range of talent - from pretty darn good to absolutely meh.

Anonymous Shrugz said...
I'm just wondering
is it league rules that every single announcer says
OUR REFS ARE THE BEST
OHH that's a 50/50 call
they are the greatest refs in all of sports
since i only listen to raptors games I was wondering if this was said in other cities
(Chuck said this A LOT!!)

Anonymous poptarted said...
Crabs always prefer to snip and run away.

Blogger Will said...
It's pretty sad when the MVP has poorer sportsmanship than 99% of all grade school ballers. It reminds of Tiger Woods early in his career when he blew off reporters after he had a bad tourny. I think it was Nicklaus who told set him straight about such behavior and Tiger hasn't repeated it since (as far as I know).

I am also on the JVG hatewagon. Those three announcers are the reason I listen to my itunes music instead of the announcers. For any sporting event.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
@Will

I personally enjoy a Queen-Rush mix for basketball.

Anonymous Lame Violation said...
LeBron not shaking hands is a non-issue. Word is the Cavs weren't happy with the sportsmanship of the Magic throughout the series, and Howard jacking up that three when the buzzer sounded was the last straw. The Magic were celebrating off on their own anyhow.

Anyway, people who make a big deal about this are just looking for excuses to hate on James (not aimed at Basketbawful, I get thats your shtick to hate on everyone). But really, not shaking hands at the end of a professional basketball gam is not a big deal. Y'all act like he shot up the arena when the buzzer sounded. .

Blogger starang said...
Agreed. A non-issue. This isn't little league or 6th grade city league basketball. This is a professional sport, and no body is supposed to shake anyone's hands after the game.

If it is such a big deal, Stern should impliment a rule, and fine people if they don't shake.

I can't beleive its even a topic of discussion. This isn't the WNBA.

There are plenty of other superdickery moves within a game that deserve more scrutiny.

Blogger danman said...
I have to disagree about van gundy. I think him, jackson, and breen are great. They have genuine chemistry and they don't take it too seriously. Sure, van gundy's comments can be a little lame at times, but I personally like his unpredictable sense of humor and the fact that he just says the crazy shit that's on his mind. They've kind of grown on me, and I hope they do the finals.

At least van gundy's head and shoulders above friggin reggie miller. That guy is terrible. Not only does he mangle the english language nearly every time he opens his mouth, but he doesn't offer any insight or anything the average basketball fan doesn't know already. He also makes erroneous statements, too, like saying that you want to crowd lebron james on defense he can't get off his jump shot or something of the like. Uh that's straight up wrong reggie. If anything, you'd rather give up the j to prevent him from penetrating. I can't understand why he's still calling games. I want to commit harakiri about 10 minutes into the games he calls.

Blogger tonious35 said...
BBawful,

If you have to take a pick of these two color-analysts and live with it eternally, who would it be? Doug Collins or Jeff Van Gundy? Marc Jackson is LAME and Hubie Brown is immortal Confucious (Hubie is great).

Blogger Fowill said...
Personally I really get into JVG's commentary. It's like a surreal, stream of consciousness, non-linear poem. If you take every non-sequitur he's uttered throughout his broadcast career you could have an epic to rival the Iliad and be dissected by High School English students for generations.

Mark Jackson, however, borders on Waltonesque retardation.

Blogger Cortez said...
"This isn't little league or 6th grade city league basketball."

Why shake hands then either?

"This is a professional sport, and no body is supposed to shake anyone's hands after the game."

True, but shaking hands because of some rule or law isn't the point. Showing respect to a competitor who has bested you in mutual combat/competition in a feat you both love is the "classy" thing to do and one of the first things you should learn as being a man, never mind basketball.

"Word is the Cavs weren't happy with the sportsmanship of the Magic throughout the series, and Howard jacking up that three when the buzzer sounded was the last straw."

He should have said that was why he didn't shake hands then but he didn't because that, in all likelihood, was not the reason.

The likely reason is that due to an over inflated sense of importance he doesn't know how to handle defeat graciously. I wonder, does James think cackling like a pack of wild jackals and gyrating like a fool on the sidelines with your teammates while on the winning side of a blow out is "good sportsmanship"?

Furthermore, to build on the lunacy of the "who gives a shit" theme, why give a shit about some career 1.0000324% three point shooter jacking up a three at the end of a game anyway?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think we should stop harassing AK Dave already. I think I speak for many people when I say that I won't care that the Denver Nuggets weren't the 2004 Pistons, just as long as the 2009 Lakers are the 2004 Lakers.

Blogger Mike said...
Van Gundy lies somewhere right in the middle of the analyst spectrum for me. I actually liked Bill Walton's even tempered rants, kind of like how I used to enjoy hearing my grandfather tell stories while he puffed on a cigar. Van Gundy is closer to that then the grating nonsense of a Vitale or the nagging of a Packer.

Blogger flohtingPoint said...
Dear LeBron,

Way to storm out like a bitch.

Love,
Eminem

Blogger jochem said...
"I think that after sleepwalking through the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Lakers finally were challenged to play their best"

Didn't they have to play a game 7 against Houston??

Blogger BadDave said...
Hahahah. Brilliant.

I disagree about the shaking bit - screw what The Round Loudmouth of Rebounding says, NBA players are role models. There are consequences, social or disciplinary, for stuff like this. For a guy like LeBye, who has been very specific in crafting is good image, this is a pretty big moment. And IMO a disappointing one. Look, if it was only game 5, OK. But the end of a series the handshakes go around. Cry at home, act like a sportsman on the court. Yet another reason hockey is gaining in the polls (though will likely NEVER take the NBA). Ten minutes after a fight the players can at least fake a smile/grimace and shake hands. Look, the rest of America has it's share of moments where we have to do things we don't like, such as work with dick customers or co-workers, but we do it. You're getting paid millions. Just shake a hand.

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
James is obviously a boy trapped in a mans body. What a sore loser. I want to see the look on his face if he doesnt make it to the finals next year. Oh and "pack a sad" is going directly into my daily vocabulary, thanks Ruben.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
jochem - '"I think that after sleepwalking through the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Lakers finally were challenged to play their best" Didn't they have to play a game 7 against Houston??'

Yes, and that proves my point in two ways. #1 - That they had to play a Game 7 against Houston proves that they were sleepwalking in that series. #2 - Did you forget how well they did in that Game 7 when they were actually pushed to play well?

What point are you trying to make, that nobody pushed them before? IMO Houston didn't push the Lakers so much as their sleepwalking in Games 4 & 6 ended up making them have to ramp it up due to the severity of the situation they'd created for themselves. Denver, on the other hand, was a genuinely difficult foe that forced the Lakers to raise their play to ensure success. If the Lakers carry that over to the Finals (and they'd be idiots to take Orlando lightly), then that'll go a long way to winning a title this year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The continued wussification of the NBA: caring if an NBA player shakes hands at the end of a game.

OpenID narsarssist said...
I highly doubt Howard shooting a 3 was some tipping point for the Cavs. It's not like he was even trying, he just tossed it up to have some fun.

Though, if Howard wanted to defend himself, maybe he could have said, "We're not trying to disrespect any team or show up any team. We're all professionals. If you take it as disrespectful, then you got to do something about it."

Or, maybe he could pull a Shaq and brush off the shooting-the-3 by accusing King Cancer of being a frontrunner?

Anonymous KB24-4EVAH said...
LOL @ labron, he wanna be kobe but failed (AGAIN) and runs off the court crying. hey labron, u never gonna be KB24 (the gratest) LOL!

Anonymous Karc said...
This has to be a joke.

http://www.wnba.com/mercury/news/lifelock_release_090601.html

Maybe if the Sonics had Starbucks in front of their jerseys, they'd still be in Seattle. Other team names to follow, like Beck's in front of the Celtics, or NASA in front of the Rockets, or Disney in front of the Magic (well, that may happen anyway if the Magic win the Finals).

Blogger Andrei said...
You're right Anonymous, this is an example of the game getting wussified only from the opposite angle from what you're inferring. Instead of shaking the hand of someone who just finished whooping your ass up and down the court, King Crab ran off like a little girl. That's the behavior of a child, not an adult. I'm actually curious whether he yelled "Fine, I'm taking my toys and going home!" as he ran off the court?

Blogger Josh said...
At first, I disliked the severe media hype over Lebron (and yes, they did it with Kobe too). I also disliked the small percentage of Lebron fans who are completely arrogant and egotistical (yes there are Kobe fans who do the same and I hate them too). I didn't dislike Lebron himself before.

Now I do.

It's not that "shaking hands" is wussy -- it's just what you do. It's a show of respect regardless of how much of a "winner" or "competitor" you are and it's in the form of a handshake, sometimes a hug. You acknowledge the skills of the other team, even if you feel you're better. Why? Because some of those guys may be your friends. Because it shows humility. And since Lebron is so often compared to Kobe, I'll do the same here. The Lakers got their asses handed to them by Boston in the finals last year. What did Kobe do? He shook their hands, he hugged KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers. Was it sincere? I don't know. But it was a show of respect. After this? He went to the press conferences and answered questions.

Lebron? He walked off the court without saying a word, showered, dressed, strapped on his headphones without speaking to his teammates, skipped the press conference, and took off. A day later he comes out with this "I'm a winner, I don't do congratulations" attitude. Question, Lebron: When you swept the first two rounds, did anyone from Detroit or or Atlanta congratulate you? Shake your hand? Hug you? I'll bet at least one guy did.

And to compare to Kobe again, Lebron's whole "I'm a competitor, that doesn't make sense to me" schtick is honestly pathetic and beyond egotistical. Lebron is quite competitive to be sure, but ask anyone who has ever come across Kobe and one thing you will ALWAYS hear is how ridiculously and fiercely competitive he is, for better and for worse. I may be wrong here, and if I am please tell me so, but I feel that the pressure put on Kobe to win it all last year was more than for Lebron to win this year. Lebron was "the chosen one" and was expected from minute one to lead his team to a championship. However, last year the Lakers making it to the finals was a surprise. For years, people have been saying that unless Kobe wins a championship as the one true leader of his team, his 3 previous rings belong to Shaq. And to have the opportunity to silence those critics by beating LA's most hated rivals most certianly should have been severe pressure. And, again, LA got spanked. Was Kobe upset? Most assuredly. How did he react?

He shook hands. He hugged Doc Rivers. He talked with his team. He answered questions at the press conference. He was mature.

Lebron? Maybe he had to go change his diaper.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Screw the haters. I thought the Hannah Montana line was hilarious.

Blogger lordhenry said...
"True, but shaking hands because of some rule or law isn't the point. Showing respect to a competitor who has bested you in mutual combat/competition in a feat you both love is the "classy" thing to do and one of the first things you should learn as being a man, never mind basketball."

Fucking, Awesome. Lebitch is a role model, and as such, should display sportsmanship. Besides, it's not like he lost to Kobe, he lost to Dwight, who seems to be one of the nicest guys in the league. That guy is always smiling. To not show class, and then have everyone else in the media try to make excuses for you is what is wrong with our society. As a whole, we are lacking in integrity and honor, and to try and justify Lebitch's behavior is an example of that.

Wait a sec, mebbe that DOES make Lebron a role model......

Also, seems kinda funny to me that it's ok to Rick-Roll the celtics, but when you get to savor the bittersweet taste of defeat, you can't shake a guys hand.

Blogger LETICIA said...
There's a good article by Adrian Wojnarowski that addresses LeBron's classlessnes. It basically says that LeBron deserves to be called out for his behavior by his team/fans, etc., but nobody will. Here's the link if you want to read: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Al_o2knDAXZypBMRVUcE5_68vLYF?slug=aw-lebron060109&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Blogger Rich said...
LeBron storming off not shaking anyone's hand IS a big deal. This is professional sport and you are expected to show class since you're getting paid millions of dollars to be a professional. LeBron is a sore loser, and it's not a wussification of the NBA by caring bout him not shaking hands with anyone.

Anonymous Lame Violation said...
Larry Bird used to get mad at his own teammates for not shaking hands. Does anyone remember that? Does anyone care?

The bigger question should be why are so many people bothered by this. This is only an issue because the sports media is based upon making a big deal about trivial things.

If you don't like what he did, in all likelihood, you didn't like LeBron before and wanted something to criticize him for. And now you're hating on him for not shaking hands after a game. Congrats, ESPN loves morons like you and would like your business.

Anonymous DKH said...
Heh, pile on LeBron all you want guys, but you're really making a mountain out of a molehill here. He just isn't really a poor sport in general. Multiple times in game 6 he helped Magic players up off the floor, and I didn't hear a lot of smacktalk from him during the series. (Not that I pay a whole lot of attention to what players are saying, so please let me know if I'm wrong.)

So yea, he made a bad decision in this instance, but it's not part of a long string of incidents. What about his previous playoff losses, being that he's never won a ring, and has a lot in the past? Anything there?

=====

As far as LeBron's treatment in this series, how many headshots did he take? And even when he lost, he had to listen to Van Gundy complain about how LeBron supposedly gets all the calls, after a game in which the Magic outshot the Cavs 51-36 from the free throw line. And between Howard and Anthony Johnson, do the Magic lead the league in elbows thrown per game? And Howard tops it by jacking up a three pointer at the buzzer in a 10-point game.

LeBron showed some poor sportsmanship, but your faux moral superiority is laughable, considering the lack of complaints about the Magic's poor sportsmanship. Howard isn't exactly a good role model either, unless you consider throwing elbows an example of good sportsmanship.

Blogger cawo said...
I agree...the little princess is acting like a sore loser of a 10 year old pickup game.....well...with that kind of attitude no wonder they didnt reach the finals...good riddance to him....

at least kobe shook hands when they lost in the NBA Finals.....the little princess disappears, sulking when they lost at Conference Finals....sheesh.....

I do hope you never win....LeBitch..haha that's a good one..

Blogger Cortez said...
"Wait a sec, mebbe that DOES make Lebron a role model......"

Good point.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What kinda drugz is K-Mart on?
Me want

Anonymous Blah said...
Yeah, but Dwight smiles a lot and he's a Christian, so he's allowed to elbow people in the face.

OMG, LeBron is a role model. What about the children!!!??? Hysteria!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@DKH: go have some vitamin water and stop crying

lebron gets every call, everyone knows that, crabolier fans won´t admit it though..
just wait until he is playing for new york and ya´ll will understand

Blogger Cortez said...
"...considering the lack of complaints about the Magic's poor sportsmanship."

I know you are but what am I?
~Pee Wee Herman

Blogger Cortez said...
"The bigger question should be why are so many people bothered by this."

The same reason you would be bothered if there was a small coffee stain and a dirt ring around your collar on your white dress shirt.

Sure, you could wear the shirt and it would continue to serve its primary purpose in covering your body but I would be god-damned if that small stain and ring of dirt wouldn't draw a lot of attention and make you look like a slacker and a slovenly attired bum.

If you're to lazy to clean your shirt or too unaware to notice you probably have some other issues as well.

That's just the way it is.

Either way he's still a multi-millionaire so I'm certain he could give less than a shit about the whole thing in many respects.

At any rate, that nitwit should have shook their hands, addressed the media and save his half-assed backwards logic rationals for someone who didn't know any better, end of story.

Anonymous Ruben said...
I wasn't sure if I should write the New Zealand slang "pack a sad", but since some of you seem to have liked it, how about this one: LeBron really "threw his toys out of the cot".

Anonymous LADDDER said...
Lame Violation said...

If you don't like what he did, in all likelihood, you didn't like LeBron before and wanted something to criticize him for. And now you're hating on him for not shaking hands after a game. Congrats, ESPN loves morons like you and would like your business.

________________________

180time:

If you liked what he did, in all likelihood, you liked lebron before and wanted to defend him. And now your blowing off sportsmanship as a no biggie. Congrats, ESPN loves you for your business.

Neck lips is hilarious. It's still a mysterious topic to talk about, but theory is the better team usually wins, k-mart hasn't bought in the theory, apparently.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
LeBron James should be fined SHAQ was whats the difference cause they call him KING B.S. The only THING THEY SHOULD CALL HIM IS MAMAS BABY GO RUN HOME TO YO MAMA. IN ORDER TO BE A KING U MUST FIRST BE A MAN AN COMPAREING LOSIN A GAME TO A FIGHT WAS CHILDISH BOXERS PROFESSIONAL OR NOT BEAT THE HELL OUT OF EACH OTHER ROUND AFTER ROUND AN AFTERWARDS HUG EACH OTHER AFTER LITERALLY KILLING EACH OTHER I THINK THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ADDRESSING THE MEDIA WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE IS THAT TO SEND TO CHILDREN IM GREATLY DISAPPOINTED AN THIS IS THE LEAGUE MVP NOT A GOOD CHOICE. AN 4 THE PEOPLE WHO THINK THIS IS TAKING IT TO FAR YOUR WRONG 4 BACKING THE CRY BABY.I DONT THINK HE SHOULD EVER BE COMPARE TO 1 OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS EVER MICHEL JORDON.JORDON HAS MORE CLASS IN HIS PINKY FINGER THAN LEBRON HAS IN HIS WHOLE BODY

Anonymous Anonymous said...
~Lame Violation~

Do you play pickup ball? Can you imagine a player pulling that shit after a game? I've been in plenty where emotions are high and there are some absolutely unnecessary fouls thrown. But you know what? After the games are over, everyone always shakes hands, exchange high fives and talk about next time. Good sportsmanship is just as critical to basketball as rebounding or free-throw making.
The whole "I'm a winner..." crap might as well have been,
"I'm a spoiled superstar who bought in a little to heavily that I was the chosen one destined to win championship after championship."
Guess what? The road to the championship inst a red carpet waltz. Its a rocky road walked with no sandals. Lebitch should toughen up. Period.

Blogger Josh said...
CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL

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