lebron non-apology
"Apologize? I don't get it. Apologize for what...?"
(H/T to plondon for the screen capture)

LeBron James He was booed coming out of the tunnel:


He was booed during introductions (Zydrunas Ilgauskas was greeted with cheers):


Yes, he did his lame-ass pre-game powder routine. And then he went out and pounded his old team like a pile or raw hamburger...making history and setting personal records along the way. Here's some of what ESPN Stats and Information dug up:

In his much-anticipated homecoming, LeBron James scored a season-high 38 points. He made 10 field goals beyond 15 feet, two shy of his career high in a game. Entering play Thursday, James was averaging just 2.8 field goals made per game beyond 15 feet.

The 24 third-quarter points by LeBron James matched his single-game high for points in a quarter and tied a franchise record.

James also did not commit a turnover, the most points he's ever scored in a game without committing a turnover. He’s the second player this season to score at least 38 points without committing a turnover. On Nov. 1, Luol Deng scored 40 against the Trail Blazers without turning the ball over.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: This was only the fourth time in NBA history that a player scored at least 38 points in his first game against a former team. The other players to do that were John Williamson against the Pacers in 1978 (38 points), Danny Ainge against Boston in 1989 (39) and Stephon Marbury against Minnesota in 2000 (39).

More From the Elias Sports Bureau: James shot 15-for-25 from the floor, the seventh game of his career in which he took at least 25 shots from the field and connected on at least 60 percent of them.
Just when Cleveland fans thought LeBron had tormented them in every possible way, 'Bronny Bravo saves his best game of the season and one of the best outside shooting games of his career for his return. In doing so, he created a new category of revenge game: "This is for making me feel like a douche for screwing you over." It's like beating a dog for no reason and then taking it outside to rub its nose in its own feces.

Hell, he couldn't even keep himself from taunting the Cavaliers bench...earning him a nice little "shut the [world Kevin Garnett loves to say] up" from a member of the coaching staff:


To be frank, I hated watching this game. Hated it. To me, it was depressing.

See, LeBron James -- even if you thought he was a douche -- still represented everything people love about sports: The hometown hero playing like a bad motherfucker and transforming a perennial underdog into a championship contending powerhouse. Even if you hated all the fake pre-game picture shows, the in-game dancing, the post-game third-person soliloquies -- and let's face it, we all did -- it was still a great story for a sadsack city that has had very little to cheer for over the years.

True story: My second Mardi Gras back in 2006, I was standing in line somewhere to use the bathroom when the guy in front of me started making small talk. After he told me he was from Cleveland, all I said was: "LeBron James, huh?" And he replied, "Yep. Best thing that ever happened to Cleveland."

That was always the joke, right? But people in Cleveland really believed it. And then , with one ill-conceived Decision, LeBron became everything people hate about sports: The hometown hero turning heel, taking the seemingly easy way out and chasing fortune and glory elsewhere. It wasn't the first time something like this had happened. Wilt Chamberlain had a pretty nasty divorce in Philly (although at least The Stilt led the Sixers to a title). Of course, King Crab took it to the next (unprecedented) level by announcing his screw job on an hour-long informercial. And still later he made a shoe commercial trying to shame people for hating him for being such a dick.

And you know what made all the booing so depressing? When somebody leaves you -- a girlfriend, a spouse, a sports hero, whatever -- they can leave behind one of two kinds of hate. There's the "I hate you but I'm better off without you" and there's the "I hate you and I will never, ever, in any way be better off without you."

We know which of these hates Clevelanders are feeling, don't we?

Think about it. Luck and lottery balls gave LeBron James to the Cavaliers. When is that going to happen again? When are the Cavs going to win the number one overall draft pick in a year when a "could be the greatest player of all time" talent is available? What are the odds? Pretty freaking long. And that's the way it's going to have to happen, because no amount of money is going to bring a superduperstar to Cleveland. And that has nothing to do with Dan Gilbert's infamous Comic Sans Letter of Doom.

Superstars don't want to play in Cleveland. Nobody really wants to play in Cleveland.

We’ve discussed this here before. It's hard to win a championship. Typically, you need a Top 5 Guy to be The Man, a Top 10 or 15 Guy to be The Sidekick, several efficient roleplayers who don't mind selflessly killing themselves on the boards or on defense or in whatever role they're asked to perform, and a bench that goes at least three or four solid players deep. Oh, and you need good coaching.

Tell me: How in the name of Spider-Man's balls is that EVER going to happen in Cleveland now that LeBron's gone? Let me put it this way: There's a better chance that I'll become Kobe Bryant's biggest fan before the Cavaliers win an NBA title.

So Clevelanders have to endure the harsh but inescapable reality that the best basketball they will ever see has come and gone. They will never see or experience anything like it again. And it didn't just fizzle out with the passing of years. It was cruelly ripped away from them after a couple seasons of being RIGHT THERE.

Isiah's Pistons were RIGHT THERE for a few years but kept getting knocked off by the Celtics and Lakers. They endured and eventually won a couple titles. Jordan's Bulls were RIGHT THERE for a few years but kept getting knocked off by the Pistons. They endured and eventually won six titles. These things are legendary. But being RIGHT THERE wasn't enough for the King of the Nazgul. Why overcome when you can bolt?

The only legend LeBron left behind in Cleveland was a sense of betrayal and hatred unlike anything the league has ever seen. It's a sad saga.

But hey, go Heat, right? They kicked the crap out of a bunch of disparate roleplayers who were assembled for the express purpose of servicing LeBron and all his Royal Whims. Surprise, surprise, they're falling apart without him.

And even now, LeBron won't just say the two little words that could put salve in an ugly, open would. He won't say "I'm sorry." Even if only for how he hurt the city that loved him.

Said LeBron: "I don't want to apologize. I think my intentions were not to hurt anyone. My intentions were solely on kids during that whole process. I always say, decisions I make, I live with them. There's always ways you can correct them or ways you can do them better. At the end of the day, I live with them. I'm satisfied and happy right now."

Trust me, it doesn't come off any better if you hear it spoken out loud. Trust me.


His intentions were solely on kids during that whole process? Was he being serious? What in the Nine Hells does that even mean? Does even LeBron know? And why can't he just own up? Why can't he just say, "I'm sorry, Cleveland. Not for leaving to follow my dreams, but for how I did it, for hurting you?" Would it damage his ego that much to just throw those long-suffering people a bone? It wouldn't erase all the hate and bad feelings, but it might give Clevelanders just enough satisfaction that they could start moving on.

But nope. LeBron doesn't give. He takes. Whatever. I'm over it and him.

The Clevaland Cavaliers: Not for the giant bitch slap they received...but for all the fraternizing, laughing, joking, etc. they did with LeBron at various points throughout the night. I thought something vital in Reggie Miller was going to explode. Yeah, I get they're all still friends with him or whatever, but they kind of owed it to the fans to dis him for at least one night.

Derrick Rose, quote machine: From ESPNChicago via Basketbawful reader Phil:

When asked if he would be watching James' much-anticipated return to Cleveland, Bulls All-Star point guard Derrick Rose responded this way.

"Probably not," Rose said. "I've got my second season of 'Dexter' so I'm good."
The Golden State Warriors: Okay, if you don't already love Steve Nash, here's yet another of the many reasons you should (via Basketbawful reader Business Time):

nash twitter

Not sure there's much to say about this one. Both teams suck on defense and toight the Warriors sucked worse. They let the Suns shoot 55 percent from the field and run out for 24 fast break points. I will say Jason Richardson's 25-point effort (on 10-for-15 shooting) against his old team was totally overshadowed by the Passion of Cleveland. Of course, the circumstances are radically different.

Said Richardson: "I'm used to playing here. The fans, every time I come, it's a standing ovation when they announce my name. They get me up. I played here for six years, and there's familiarity. I had some great times here. It's a great place to play."

I also have to say it cracks me up that Earl freaking Barron is starting ahead of Hedo Turkoglu and Hakim Warrick.

Oh, anyway, back to the Warriors. This little excerpt from the AP recap pretty much sums up the problems this team -- which has lost four straight at home and seven of eight games overall -- are having:

Ellis missed a pair of free throws with 3:16 left, which he said was the turning point of the game.

"If I hit those, we would have been down just one," he said. "We made some mistakes but it was a great game and we gave ourselves a chance to win."

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry missed time in the first half when he was poked in the eye.

"That slowed me down," Curry said. "I was initiating the offense well and getting people involved. It just took me a while to get back."
Notice how both guys -- Golden State's top two players -- identified offensive problems that led to the loss? Memo to the Warriors: When you give up 107 points on 55 percent shooting, your problems are on defense, not offense.

Chris's One-Line lackluster TNT Thursday Lacktion Report: Zydrunas Ilgaukas countered two boards in 16:38 with 3 fouls for a 3:2 Voskuhl.

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102 Comments:
Blogger TK said...
That was one of the better pieces about Lebron that I've read in a while. Nicely done.

Steve Nash makes me giggle.

Anonymous Ian said...
To be fair some of the Cavs shunned him, most notably Mo Williams.

Blogger TK said...
Oh, and this was easily the best sign of the night (courtesy of BDL).

Blogger Cortez said...
"His intentions were solely on kids during that whole process? Was he being serious? What in the Nine Hells does that even mean?"

Although he's lying, I would assume he meant the fact that part (or all?) of the "Decision" show's advertising proceeds went to some kid's foundation.

As a side note, whenever someone is lobbying for some position based primarily on saving "the children" you should immediately question that person's motives or ability to discern what is actually good or harmful for children.

Anonymous DKH said...
A few more efforts like that and Cavs fans might cheer when their players get injured.

Actually I didn't see the game, but I did see ESPN's "LeBron Alert" ticker that told me such gems as "Cleveland fans booed LeBron when the Heat entered for pregame warmups. They cheered when he missed a layup." And also, during the third quarter, their ticker noted, "LeBron made his first layup 20 seconds into the game." Way to go ESPN.

The Cavs deserve the Worst-of you gave them, and their fans definitely noticed. I wonder if it will affect fan support over the rest of the season.

Anonymous Karc said...
The biggest threat of violence last night was not from Cleveland fans, but from Eddie House.

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2010/12/3/1852809/heat-vs-cavaliers-eddie-house-daniel-gibson-fight

Anonymous Shrugz said...
"WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN, WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN???"

I think lebron watches too much simpsons

Anonymous charade said...
I have to admit, I was into it.

He came in and went to work.

It's always interesting to see someone shut down an arena with a stellar performance.

Blogger Cortez said...
"He came in and went to work."

LeBron James/Dwayne Wade vs. Joey Graham/Anthony Parker.

*yawn*

Anonymous JJ said...
No one, except LeBron, can truly know what his intentions were.

But, LeBron is obviously not mature enough to realize you don't apologize only when you intentionally wronged someone (that's a given). You also apologize when you are a part of an incident where the other person got hurt and you want to make them feel better. For example, if I'm playing catch with someone and the baseball hits their face, I can still say sorry though I didn't mean to hit their face.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I echo TK's sentiments. That was a great piece that sums up my own thoughts perfectly. LeBron was a shining beacon of loyalty and humility- a real "local boy done good", and now that he has pissed on that aspect of his life, there really is nothing left to like about him.

Additionally, Dwayne Wade has disappointed me with his kow-towing (sp?) to LeBron and refusal to back up "Coach 'Spo" during bumpgate and everything else this season.

If even Wade can't stand up to LeBron's ego, I don't think anyone can. It's sad, and it's making me a fan of everyone who plays against them. Screw these guys.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Although he's lying, I would assume he meant the fact that part (or all?) of the "Decision" show's advertising proceeds went to some kid's foundation.

Yeah. You know, a guy who's net worth is somewhere between $100 million and $300 million (depending on your sources) doesn't need to stage an informercial for a charity...he can just hand over his walking around money for the week and be done with it.

Of course, years ago LeBron states his two primary goals were to become a global icon and the first billion dollar athlete. Really, everything that's happened since then shouldn't have surprised us at all.

Blogger Solieyu said...
The nation's venom and scorn will run dry long before James' ego begins to ebb, as we see here. Back in ancient Greece, LeBron would be well on his way to getting some cosmic justice from the gods for his hubris. But that has little to do with Basketball.

Frankly, LeBron had his way with the Cavs all night long. Well, until he sat out the entire fourth quarter with his team up thirty points. At one point during that quarter the Heat were up by 37. LeBron scored 38 points through three. Just sayin.

For all that the Cavs were custom built around LeBron, they still had nothing on any of the recent dynasties dating back to the 80s. His supporting cast was good, but not nearly comparable to the Big Three in Boston, or the Laker's stacked deck, or even Jordan's Bulls, who made it to the Eastern Conference finals, and may have won the whole thing if not for some bad officiating the year after he retired.

Anyone think the Cavs are making the playoffs this year? Look at it this way, take away Paul Pierce (or Rajon Rondo) from the Celtics, and Kobe from the Lakers. Both of those teams will still be contenders in their conferences. Hell, the Lakers might actually be better off.

That obviously wasn't going to happen with the Cavs. James was basically the only irreplaceable player they had. If Dwight had a season ending injury, the Magic would still be better than the Cavs without James. He carried that franchise for 7 years.

For all the contenders that were right on the cusp of being contenders for several years before finally getting their break there are just as many or more who never made it and dissolved or are in the process of. Most teams never make it over the hump.

2000-2003 Sacramento
Steve Nash's Suns
90's Knicks/Pacers
KG's T-Wolves
Yao/McGrady Rockets
Dallas Mavs (They're playing well now, but they were the Orlando Magic before the Orlando Magic. Count on playoff wilting).


And currently:
Portland's window is shrinking rapidly.

Does anyone think the Magic are true contenders anymore? As currently constituted? [Read: Going to Vag Carter in the clutch]

The Hawks are a joke. The Bulls are a question mark. The Hornets aren't as good as their record.

There are always 'contenders' but its probably going to come down to Spurs/Lakers/Celtics as champions once again. I think the Heat will make a decent play off push, but I don't think they have the roster to beat the Celtics, Lakers, or Spurs in a 7 game series. Phil and Pop are just too good, and the Celtics are too savvy.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
For example, if I'm playing catch with someone and the baseball hits their face, I can still say sorry though I didn't mean to hit their face.

Exactly.

Look, I've never really had a beef with LeBron's choice to leave Cleveland. It's his choice. It was only ever the way he did it and his refusal to really acknowledge the pain and anguish he left in his wake that has turned me totally against him.

All it would take, really, is a little humility. Maybe he thought his stupid commercial -- "Maybe I should just disapper?" -- provided that. It didn't. But maybe if he said something like, "Look, I'm sorry. The really flubbed up with the way I handled things. I'm really sorry it hurt you. I'm still kinda young and stupid sometimes. Even though I left to pursue a dream opportunity, I wish I'd done things differently, treated Cleveland better on the way out. I apologize."

Like I said, it wouldn't placate everybody, wouldn't make the hate just go away. But, at the very least, it would be a start.

But his ego won't allow it.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: In a strange way, it's more honest for him to be the jerk that he is, instead of apologizing.

Yes it hurts, and yes it reaffirms the tragic reality that in Cleveland, just like in Indianapolis, just like in Sacramento, just like in Memphis...and absolutely like Seattle...

What's left to watch? The Stern Button is programmed specifically to make sure markets like those get relegated to the status of "proefssional opponent" as much as possible, so why should anyone drop a dime or two knowing the inevitable fate of their team?

Blogger Solieyu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Solieyu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yes it hurts, and yes it reaffirms the tragic reality that in Cleveland, just like in Indianapolis, just like in Sacramento, just like in Memphis...and absolutely like Seattle...

What's left to watch? The Stern Button is programmed specifically to make sure markets like those get relegated to the status of "proefssional opponent" as much as possible, so why should anyone drop a dime or two knowing the inevitable fate of their team?


SAD FACE.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Not to mention the extreme coaching advantage every dynasty has had over LeBron's Cavs.

The increasingly loud rumblings are that LeDouche is uncoachable. He - supposedly - ignored and undermined Mike Brown at every opportunity, and seems to be doing the same thing to Spolestra.

You can lead the horse to water but you can't make him drink. And for those of you that would shoot back "Well that's why you need a Phil Jackson or a Pat Riley, he'll respect and listen to those guys!". Yeah... somehow, I doubt it.

If the best player openly sabotages the coach and refuses to let him, y'know, coach, it doesn't matter how good or bad he is.

The total inability and unwillingness of LeBron to operate in a team concept is becoming increasingly, glaringly clear in Miami.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
We keep comparing James to Jordan, Bird, Magic, and Kobe without allowing him a Pippen, Parish, Kareem, or Shaq/Gasol. Not to mention the extreme coaching advantage every dynasty has had over LeBron's Cavs. Take away any of those team's best players and you still have a strong squad.

Take LeBron from the Cavs and you have a 30 point drubbing.


Yet add James to a roster that includes Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and you get a 93-77 home loss to the Pacers.

First, Pippen wasn't always Pippen. It took years of development before he was ready to be The Second Guy. And Jordan chewed through Stan Albeck and Doug Collins before Phil Jackson signed on...and Jackson was an unknown then, not a genius, and Jordan had major reservations about the Triangle and Jackson's insistence that MJ trust his teammates.

In retrospect, it seems like MJ was set up perfectly. But, just like that commercial mashup said, it only looks that way. It took hard work, persistence and luck for the Bulls to break through. And that can be said of any team. Hey, the Lakers got Magic Johnson only because, years earlier, they had traded a nearly washed-up Gail Goodrich to the New Orleans Jazz because that organization was feeling pressure to bring in help for Pistol Pete.

The creation of dynasties is a tangled web.

But global icons don't have the patience for that. Apparently, they want to just buy their way in.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: SAD FACE.

BUT HEY, I have a team unlike Dan in Louisville!

...at least for the next year or so.

I am numb enough to this that if the Maloofs have their "Clay Bennett Email Account" moment, I will have less ability to be shocked than I was when I was reading about Donaghy the first time (and I wasn't shocked about that at all).

Blogger Dan B. said...
BUT HEY, I have a team unlike Dan in Louisville!

SAD FACE.

...at least for the next year or so.

We've heard this story before. If the Kings relocate, they'll tease Louisville with the thought of moving there, but end up somewhere stupid like Columbus instead. Hurray? (bangs head on desk)

Blogger b r christensen said...
First off, let me preface all this by saying LeBron James is a self-absorbed asshole. We can agree on that at least.

Here's a list some of the other self-absorbed assholes: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Phil Jackson, Charles Barkley.

Ignoring the theater of it all (which is, admittedly a huge part) LeBron left a team that was "right there" but had just fired its head coach. The Pistons didn't fire Chuck Daly when they were "right there," the Bulls didn't fire Jackson.

James, Wade and Bosh accepted less money than they could elsewhere in order to play together, and then again accepted less in order to get Haslem to stay. I must not be like other sports fans, but that aspect is interesting and really cool to me. I like the idea of players taking control of their own fates. But then again John Montgomery Ward is one of my favorite sports personalities of all time, I think the Curt Flood story is tragic, I think college athletics is a bit of an exploitative sham. And, as much as the media have credited Riley as the mastermind behind the Heat roster, this was obviously a James, Wade and Bosh production. . . ok, mostly James and Wade - Bosh seems more like the younger brother you allow to tag-along.

It seems ridiculous to me that people buy into the idea that the Heat are doing it "the wrong way." That really you need to be like the Celtics or Lakers to do it right. All that seems to mean is that the guys in suits make choices and not the guys in uniforms.

I'll grant that doing the decision special was a dick move, a huge dick move. And Cleveland has every reason to hate LeBron. But guys spending their whole career in one place isn't necessarily what I love about sports. Sticking with an organization that would cut you loose in a second if they ever thought it was in their best interest isn't noble in my estimation.

I, for one, am not going to hate a guy forever based on an ill-advised hour of bad tv. Maybe I can hate a guy forever for sexually assaulting a person . . . but making a single tv special and not saying I'm sorry? Fine he's a jerk. But damn he can ball, and watching Wade and James together in the playoffs after they've figured out how to play together (if they do) is going to be something special.

Blogger b r christensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Ultra-Misanthrope said...
Every Warriors fan I know loves J-Rich. He was an exciting player to watch when he was here and as far as I'm concerned, has always been a class act. He also ran a letter of apology in the papers when they missed the playoffs one year. It's hard to imagine Lebron even considering doing that let alone actually doing it.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Maybe this will help lighten the mood:

Shaq Shows He Can Still Dominate Around Basket Of Fries.

Anonymous Stockton said...
Hey, wasn't Cleveland that team whose players were dancing and mocking through blowouts? So, and quoting Al Pacino, Mo, Jamison, Brown... F##K YOU TOO!!!

As for LeDouche, I'm not a child, I'm aware those guys are the closest thing to a hired gun... he wants the best place to make money and to win. Period! The point is, he could have done it without all the bull$hit, the (in)decision, the tv shows, and so on... if he had a little bit of class, he would say "I can't get it here, blame the management, blame me, it's time to move on. I need a team already built.". End of story.

He got his "revenge"... sweet... well, maybe he can watch it again on ESPN while Orlando and Boston are playing the finals!!
The "revenge" game only shows how selfish he is, and that is one of the reasons he will get ZERO rings!!!

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Well, let me start of by saying I enjoyed every minute of the drubbing. I think LeBron forgot to pick up his jumpshot when he left Cleveland, hence him finally making some last night. Personally, those bastards do need to get over it. Its been months. I understand how monumental it was but...well this deadspin article echoed my sentiments

http://deadspin.com/5704549/dear-cleveland-have-your-fun-tonight-and-then-get-over-yourselves



Ok as for saying sorry, Sager blatantly goaded him into a response. Yes the way his ego is, he won't acknowledge what he did was horribly wrong. Fine, its wrong. I love that the guy is on my team but I know that the way his life went from age 17-25, that he would have an inflated standard of himself. He had every right to leave, we all agree on that. The Decision was a bad idea, we all agree with that. I think I agree with the sentiment that he's gotten some terrible advice and he truly believes the kid bullshit made up for the decision. Motherfucker you have $2398490832447382909480239 dollars! You could sneeze that money to those kids whenever you felt like it. You know what? Fuck it. I have no idea where I'm going with this. He's on my team, so I'll support him through and through, but I won't value him nearly as much as a person as say Wade.




AK Dave - as for Wade not defending Spo. Let me be clear that Spo being "A great young mind" is utter cowshit. We've beaten up on bad teams so the firespo.com movement has waned a bit. It's not about the "Riley factor" because screw him as a coach. They don't want his practices and he doesn't want to risk his legacy. Spo is so terrible at running this offense, its laughable, and Steve Kerr alluded to this when Reggie kept showering him with unwarranted praise. The first 10 minutes of the game were bad jumpshots for the heat, only they actually fell this time. Forget the pick and roll bullshit, RUN, get some motion! Point is, Wade played for the guy for 3 years now and knew him for longer (as an assistant), perhaps he knows the guy isn't fit for the team to do postseason damage. None of us sane people actually want Pat Riley, just a coach with a better offensive mind.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I think I posted a terribly long rant that was too long to get posted. Fail

In short, Happy we destroyed them, they should get over it, no matter how monumental a dick move it was. LeBron has an ego, but can't blame him based on last 8 years of life + no good adult male figure which led to terrible advice the past few months. Heat as a team, playing better, misconception about Spo being a "brilliant young mind" still exists when he is too inept to run a good offense for the team. Pacer loss isn't that bad because that team is decent and beat LA as well.

and this http://media.cleveland.com/cavs_impact/photo/lebron-mo-vert-pregame-ccjpg-77db07a86268b7c5.jpg

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Another great piece. Sorry if I'm harping on the matter. It just seems that James will lose no matter what he does in the eyes of everyone but the Miami faithful

http://iseedeadlinepeople.com/2010/12/03/sorry-but-lebron-james-just-doesnt-seem-to-be/

Blogger Murcy said...
wow a lot of deleted comments today what happened? that doesn't usually happen around here. and seeing the cavs players being all friendly with lebron was very weird, it was a total disservice to their fans (although I agree that they personally had no reason for hating him apart from what their fans wanted). as for the uncoachable part: he has a supermassive ego to go along with his often superb play, and somewhat wrong self-image. he needs the right coach to trim his ego, I bet sloan or pops could teach him a thing or two. but now it seems people are blaming him for mike brown not recognizing an offensive scheme even if it's handed to him on a platter, while screaming "I'm an offensive play! use me!"

by the way: being the asshole he is, he's a superb player, and I'm totally shitting my pants because of the possibility of him and wade actually learning to play together by playoff time (notice how bosh is mentioned less every week in heat-related things?)

wv: tanglo. as his next pre-game introduction in cleveland, lebroon should dance the tanglo

Anonymous JJ said...
Christensen, I agree with you on that aspect of Heat coming together. And though I'm not a LeBron fan, I was excited to see what this "super team" can do, just because it's always fun to watch people accomplish amazing things.

But, after observing how this season has been unfolding so far and having a better understanding of Lebron's psyche, I see Heat is not a super team. In fact, they're not a "team" at all. I know people keep talking about how Heat will be like once "they figure out how to play together", but do people realize this actually means "Wade will sacrifice his game to complement LeBron?" Because it's not going to happen the other way around, as LeBron not so subtly confirmed.

Maybe Wade really will become a role player that Lebron is not willing to become. Maybe Heat will dominate anyway due to their talents. But, I can tell you right now, championship is very, very unlikely unless somebody over there starts taking lessons in how to play a team sport.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm confused...where's the quote from Stephanie G? How will I be able to understand last nights game without her coherent, well-reasoned analysis and extremely clever nicknames?

(Also, it may not excuse the Decision, but completely dismissing giving millions of dollars to charity as "so what, he can afford it" seems a little self-serving here.)

Blogger Murcy said...
by the way, I don't know whether you bawfulites read docfunk or not, but if you don't you should start right now. his psot-game captions and previews are equally great. tkae this gem for example: "Heat @ Cavaliers - LeBron wears commemorative shoes constructed entirely of middle fingers. Orphan middle fingers." or this one: "Mavericks @ Jazz - Raja Bell plays the game with a glove on for the sole purpose of dramatically removing it prior to slapping others across the face."

Blogger Dooj said...
I was also irritated at the Cavs bench last night.


The highlight of the night was right after half time. Lebron goes up to Mo Williams and tries to get all buddy buddy with him. Mo tells him to leave and then ignores him while walking off the screen. Lebron turns around and looks at the Heat players as if he's thinking, "Geez... What did I do to THAT guy that made him so butt hurt?"

Keep in mind that this was when Lebron had already quadrupled his combined forays into the paint for the year in the first half.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Another Bawful field trip tonight, a friend invited me to the game. This is more along the lines of watch a good team (Thunder) destroy a bad team (Mighty Dinos!).

Should have a prop bet about which Raptor(s) Westbrook will dunk on. Probably all of them. Simultaneously. Good thing I'll be drinking heavily.

Anonymous Cristi said...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
(Also, it may not excuse the Decision, but completely dismissing giving millions of dollars to charity as "so what, he can afford it" seems a little self-serving here.)

What I meant was that a man with hundreds of million of dollars can give to charity without staging an hour-long stroke-me-off that castrates his former team. He's trying to tell us the only reason he participated in The Decision was for "the kids." I call bullshit.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Matt - I'm reading your blog and I am loving - how the F can I contact you, do you have an e-mail adress or something? Can't find it, googled it, still can't find it, read ESPN interview, searched for it on the Bulls by the Horns blog, still can't effing find it! Writing unrelated comments doesn't make sense you know?

Blogger b r christensen said...
JJ, for the record I am neither a LeBron nor Heat fan either. I live in Salt Lake City, Raja Bell is about the best we can do free agent wise. But hey, at least we've got ski resorts.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you know it's one thing to lie
it's another to constantly lie and STILL think people believe you.

hate it when people do that.

Blogger Solieyu said...
Yet add James to a roster that includes Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and you get a 93-77 home loss to the Pacers.

First, Pippen wasn't always Pippen. It took years of development before he was ready to be The Second Guy. And Jordan chewed through Stan Albeck and Doug Collins before Phil Jackson signed on...and Jackson was an unknown then, not a genius, and Jordan had major reservations about the Triangle and Jackson's insistence that MJ trust his teammates.

In retrospect, it seems like MJ was set up perfectly. But, just like that commercial mashup said, it only looks that way. It took hard work, persistence and luck for the Bulls to break through. And that can be said of any team. Hey, the Lakers got Magic Johnson only because, years earlier, they had traded a nearly washed-up Gail Goodrich to the New Orleans Jazz because that organization was feeling pressure to bring in help for Pistol Pete.

The creation of dynasties is a tangled web.

But global icons don't have the patience for that. Apparently, they want to just buy their way in.


I realize that a lot of it is circumstance, luck, and savvy General managing, but my point that LeBron's supporting cast really wasn't that good remains valid. The season after MJ retired the Bulls won 55 games. In 1992, shortly after losing Magic, Kareem, and Michael Cooper to retirement, the Lakers still won 43 games and made the playoffs. This simply isn't going to happen with the Cavs.

Magic also got rid of a coach in Paul Westhead, so LeBron is hardly unique in being difficult to coach. It remains to be seen if Spo has the right stuff, and if he does, James' undermining won't matter. Mike Brown didn't have the chops to dominate his star and get him to buy into his philosophy.

The Miami roster is full of holes and is extremely weak after the Big Three, which is why I don't see them winning a 7 game series against a good team this year. I was more commentating on the Cavs than the Heat.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Matt - I'm reading your blog and I am loving - how the F can I contact you, do you have an e-mail adress or something? Can't find it, googled it, still can't find it, read ESPN interview, searched for it on the Bulls by the Horns blog, still can't effing find it! Writing unrelated comments doesn't make sense you know?

For Basketbawful
basketbawful at yahoo.com

For Bulls stuff:
bullsbythehorns at gmail.com

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I live in Salt Lake City, Raja Bell is about the best we can do free agent wise. But hey, at least we've got ski resorts.

Hey, isn't the Olympic Village still standing as well?

Blogger Cortez said...
Can anyone imagine the love and fanfare it would have generated if James had announced on his show...

"I am staying home, in Cleveland, to bring home a championship and, win or lose, I'm going to give it all I got with my guys so I hope the fan are ready for the show!"

They would have build a mile high monument in his honor and granted his descendants for the next 4 generations, at least, royalty status in the city.

As it stands now, the Heat could quint-peat (which they won't) and Miami/South Beach will have moved on to the next spectacle within a few years.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
@b r christensen

Couldn't agree more about your main points. The fact that some people are offended that it's the guys putting the ball in the basket, instead of the old rich white guys, making the decisions seems to mortally offend some. After all, why *shouldn't* the guys who create all of the value decide where they want to play and who they want to play with? Free country, innit?

Where we part ways is the basis for disliking LeBron. It's not just a TV special. It's his whole attitude towards the game, the league, his teammates, and the world in general. Physically, he's a specimen unlike the world has ever seen. Mentally, he's about 14, if that. And it shows. I just can't respect someone with such an overwhelming sense of entitlement, who throws people - teammates, coaches - under the bus when things don't go his way. Who surrounds himself with an echo chamber entourage that tells him what he wants to hear, plants stories in the media, and generally facilitates his douche-ness.

Blogger chris said...
I love how we've got someone talking up Salt Lake City...

Um, Sacramento has...

uh...we have...

well, there's my favorite restaurant (33rd Street Bistro), several miniature golf places...and cherry limeade Icees at Arco (every once in a while).

And two rivers less polluted than the Cuyahoga.

And um...

Yeah.

Blogger Brandon said...
"But being RIGHT THERE wasn't enough for the King of the Nazgul. Why overcome when you can bolt?"

Yeah, Cleveland was never winning a championship, even with LeBron. Management is terrible, Mike Brown was terrible, and everyone knew it.

The Cavs essentially said, "Win a ring all by yourself! Here are some second-rate teammates to help you, I guess. Go get 'em!"

LeBron saw the writing on the wall and bolted. I don't blame him a bit.

Blogger chris said...
kazam92: Why is Cleveland still bitter about it?

Very simple.

Without LeBron, they know they have NO chance of ever witnessing a championship in their lifetimes.

I realize it is a privilege, not a right, to have a sports team in your own town win something...but isn't sports about providing the fans some sort of hope? That all those years of attendance will get rewarded at least once?

If a team is basically in a position where they can't offer it...well, isn't that the NBA other than the Spurs/Celtics/Lakers/this year's Heat/Thunder? Where at some point, the inanity of inevitability becomes second nature, and the whole exercise becomes a measure of permanent futility.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I realize that a lot of it is circumstance, luck, and savvy General managing, but my point that LeBron's supporting cast really wasn't that good remains valid. The season after MJ retired the Bulls won 55 games. In 1992, shortly after losing Magic, Kareem, and Michael Cooper to retirement, the Lakers still won 43 games and made the playoffs.

Don't forget that after Shaq left L.A., the Kobe-led Lakers won only 34 games and missed the playoffs.

Oh, wait, is that off-topic?

Blogger Bugg said...
Talking trash to the Cleveland bench just reeks of insecurity. You think that if he did that to the Celtics bench, Doc Rivers doesn't say, "Big Baby, go eat him"

Blogger Brandon said...
Don't forget that after Shaq left L.A., the Kobe-led Lakers won only 34 games and missed the playoffs.

Oh, wait, is that off-topic?


Reminding everyone that Kobe is not one of the all-time greats is always on topic.

Anonymous Mladen said...
Here, enjoy some Seanbaby (not a big fan of him, but this article is bawful-related):

http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-athletes-who-had-more-crazy-than-talent/

Blogger b r christensen said...
chris:

yeah, I've been to sac. about the only redeeming quality was the chance of seeing vlade divac outside his club smoking three cigarettes at once.

not sure if you read my comment with the right tone though, i meant it with about the same level of sarcasm as i read into yours.

sort of like, but hey, in salt lake we just had an oil spill 500 feet from the spot where we had an oil spill six months ago!

Anonymous DKH said...
I think Bill Simmons actually has some good thoughts on this:

On Thursday night, LeBron finally looked like LeBron again. Maybe he needed his old court. Maybe he needed to taste the bile of 20,000 Ohioans. But I thought it was one of his greatest nights; instead of folding like a portable stripper's pole (like in the Boston series), he rose to the occasion and even relished it. Of course, greatness usually has a casualty: in this case, Cleveland. The fans made their point (and then some), never disgraced themselves and were betrayed only by their own players. They deserved better last July; they deserved better last night.

My impression is the fans acquitted themselves well, showed their animosity, and their players let them down.

But yea, LeBron was great. Part of me wants Miami to fail, because that'd be entertaining and bawful, and I could laugh at LeBron's bad decisions and attitude. Part of me wants them to succeed, though, because, hey, I think it'd be entertaining to see a 73-win season and 7 championships in a row. And I do believe LeBron is an all-time great basketball player, and Kobe isn't, and the comparisons between them for the past several years are just silly. Also, Z would get a ring. Anyway.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Chris: a lot of teams may never win a title in their fans lifetime. Yeah it was monumental, but I'm tired of Cleveland asserting themselves as the worst sports town ever. In my opinion nothing will top what happened to the Sonics.

(and I don't wanna be too optimistic for the sake of my argument but the Browns can be good in the future. Colt McCoy is legit and Peyton Hillis is a fucking monster)

And I agree with the sentiment that this Cavs team wouldn't win shit had they been the same team this year. The Jamison trade was TERRIBLE. I mean TERRIBLE. They had the best record in the league with Hickson starting but instead they get a washed up chucker and have their budding young PF regress. I think THAT is what set them back. Now they are burdened with that horrendous contract



and sorry bawful, all my posts did show up.

Blogger Cortez said...
"but my point that LeBron's supporting cast really wasn't that good remains valid"

This is turning into a semantics debate about the meaning of the word "good".

No one wins 61 and 66 games with a group of "not that good" bums and castoffs. No one.

No one is claiming LeBron was running with the caliber of mates he has now (And you can see where that's gotten him thus far) but the Cavs were a bit better than "not that good".

For instance, Anthony Parker may seem like he's "not that good", however, he was the multiple MVP and lead player of the well respected Euroleague.

In fact, one could argue that, outside of Wade, no one he has now is an upgrade to what he had in the first place. I'd certainly take Side Show Bob (AV) over Side Show Mel (Bosh), especially if I am the (supposed) premier offensive threat in the league.

But I would expect nothing more from an Upscale Role Player.

Blogger chris said...
kazam92: Considering that what Modell did to the Browns was basically the 1990s version of Clay Bennett and the Sonics...yeah, they got their "team" back, but it was basically the same exact thing. They got jobbed.

b r - YOU HAVE SKI RESORTS.

Sacramento...well, you have to drive 1.5-2 hours out of town to find them.

Even sarcastically, that's still an upgrade!

You also had the Most Corrupt Olympics Since The Previous One And Probably Not As Bad As The One After. Sacramento will get the Olympics the day the Purple Paupers win 70 games a year and a title.

Blogger b r christensen said...
chris -

good point. but wait, the trump card, my state is run by crazy old mormon dudes.

your state is run by. . . oh yeah, fuck.

truce?

Blogger Evan said...
As much as I hate LeBron too, he's right about one thing. He doesn't owe Cleveland an apology for anything. Where the hell do their fans get off thinking he owes you? Yes, he's a jerk, but it's not like the Cavaliers were ever a great team even with LeBron on the roster. The freaking Clippers would have been 62-20 too with LeBron on the roster. You had to look at the team the past 7 years to know what you were watching. The best talent they could surround LeBron with was a past-his-prime Antawn Jamison and a frail Shaquille O'Neal who can't give you more than 35 games a season anymore. Then you're going to chastise LeBron for leaving? Sheesh, I'd leave too!

In summary, GET OVER IT. The NBA is a business, not a romance. I still think LeBron is still a self-centered egomaniac who gets told all the time how great he is by the media, his friends, and his family. Just be happy he said on national TV that he appreciated and enjoyed his 7 years with the Cavs. Even if he didn't mean it, that's all you're going to get from him. All he cares about is winning and his fame, not what regular people (not family or friends) think of him. That's loud and clear, now get on with your lives.

Look, I understand that Cavs fans are just pissed because nothing has ever goes their way for them, from Michael Jordan ruining them to LeBron's depature. I'd hate living in a town where the best thing that happens to Cleveland in sports is the arrival of LeBron James from Akron. Then again, I have a hard time believing that every fan overreacted and can't go on with their lives thanks to LeBron. It's a freaking game, for chrissakes!

If I were a Cavs fan, I'd be even more pissed about how soft and shitty their team played last night against a dysfunctional group of overpaid egomaniacs and then a bunch of washed-up players from the draft class of 2000, the worst in history. Where was the drive and emotions from the first quarter? The Cavaliers shat the bed with about 2 minutes left to go in the first quarter! What a disgrace.

Okay, RANT DONE! Whew!

Anonymous DKH said...
The fact that some people are offended that it's the guys putting the ball in the basket, instead of the old rich white guys, making the decisions seems to mortally offend some.

Is there any evidence that this is an actual criticism of the Miami Heat? I know people jokingly comment about Wade being the GM or whatever, but is there an indication that someone cares what fraction of the work was Wade's and what fraction was Riley's?

Also, the money that LeBron "gave up" to play on the Heat is pretty insignificant, and I believe is mostly, if not entirely, offset by now playing primarily in a state with no income tax. His endorsement money maybe stands to increase if he wins championships, although he may have pissed away a lot of his brand equity (tough to sell loyalty now!) with "The Decision."

========

Well, let me start of (sic) by saying I enjoyed every minute of the drubbing. I think LeBron forgot to pick up his jumpshot when he left Cleveland, hence him finally making some last night. Personally, those bastards do need to get over it. Its (sic) been months.

Hey, it's an immature, needlessly vindictive Miami fan! Perfect for LeBron!

I agree that football does give Cleveland the best shot in the near term at a title, and probably the long term, too. The NFL has achieved decent parity that the NBA hasn't (without even getting into the refs and their favorites). The MLB is fairly random, and that can help, but the Indians owner isn't really willing to spend.

Cleveland doesn't assert itself as a bad sports town. It asserts itself as a great sports town with terrible luck/terrible management/general mistreatment by players and management. And their fans are good. The Browns sell out despite being terrible, and the Indians sold out 455 straight games or something in the 1990s.

Anonymous JJ said...
Chris, at least you have Kevin Johnson as the mayor and Arnold as the governor! Oh wait, is that a bad thing?

Blogger Adam said...
Don't forget that after Shaq left L.A., the Kobe-led Lakers won only 34 games and missed the playoffs.

Also, Fisher left, and they got Chris Mihm and Chucky Atkins in exchange. And they were coached by Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen. But what am I saying, of course it's Kobe's fault.

Anonymous Business Time said...
Re: the whole LeBron/Cleveland supporting cast thing...

I agree with Cortez that we're kind of just arguing semantics at this point. Personally I still don't see them as good, but perhaps "serviceable". And really, has any other championship contender had a supporting cast on that level? The 2001 Sixers are the only one that come to mind immediately.

Blogger Andy said...
It was a nice game for Lebron. Too bad he rarely focuses so well so it really means something.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
The NBA is a business, not a romance.

This is where you're both right and wrong.

The NBA is a business selling itself as a romance (of sorts) between fan and team, fan and players, fan and superstar. The business model relies on building a sense of connection with the fanbase. Because unless there's some seriously passionate feelings involved, people aren't dropping a hundred bucks for jerseys, or tickets, etc.

LeBron grew up in that area. He knew the fans, knew the people, knew how they felt about their sports teams and heroes. And he knowingly or unknowingly -- my money's on knowingly...dreams of global iconhood and all that -- exploited those feelings to build his power and his legend. Then he left, but that's not even my beef with him. It's that he was a dick about it on the way out.

Now, you're right in that he doesn't "owe" Cleveland fans anything. Nobody ever really owes anybody anything. Hell, parents don't even owe their babies support or care. People treat other people with compassion and kindness because that's what civilized, caring human beings do.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Also, Fisher left, and they got Chris Mihm and Chucky Atkins in exchange. And they were coached by Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen. But what am I saying, of course it's Kobe's fault.

Ha! I knew I could rile a Lakers fan!

Blogger Dooj said...
@ basketbawful

It's not that hard to rile a Lakers fan..

Blogger Cortez said...
"And they were coached by Rudy Tomjanovich and Frank Hamblen."

You mean back 2 back NBA championship coach Tomjanovich and Phil Jackson's right hand man Frank Hamblen?

Oh the absolute horror!!!!!!! What in hell do those two bozos know about coaching?

And without my bifocals, I'd be hard pressed to tell any significant skill difference between Fisher and Atkins.

Blogger Adam said...
No worries, not riled. :) Just wanted to point out that there was more to the story. That was a nasty year to be a Lakers fan.

More on topic, the Heat-Cavs game was just painful to watch, on so many levels. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth and I think it was mostly from the crowd. I mean, I understand their reactions and I'd be the last person to claim I'm above some childish taunting, but it put a really sour tone on the whole game and made it really unpleasant.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I agree with Cortez that we're kind of just arguing semantics at this point. Personally I still don't see them as good, but perhaps "serviceable".

Don't see them as good...

Okay, let's talk PER for a minute. Not an end all, be all, but a basic mashup indicator of a player's statistical value, right? Now consider Hollinger's PER reference guide:

Solid 2nd option: 18.0
3rd Banana: 16.5
Pretty good player: 15.0
In the rotation: 13.0

2009-10 Cavaliers - Top PERs:
LeBron James (31.7)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (18.0)
Mo Williams (18.0)
Joe Smith (14.8)
Andy Varejao (14.6)
Delonte West (14.1)
J.J. Hickson (12.5)
Ben Wallace (12.1)

2009-10 Cavaliers - Top PERs:
LeBron James (31.1)
Shaq (17.9)
Antawn Jamison (16.7)
Mo Williams (16.1)
Andy Varejao (15.8)
J.J. Hickson (15.2)
Delonte West (13.8)

For comparison:

2009-10 Lakers - Top PERs:
Pau Gasol (22.9)
Kobe Bryant (21.9)
Andrew Bynum (20.2)
Lamar Odom (15.9)
Shannon Brown (12.4)
Jordan Farmar (12.3)
Ron Artest (12.1)

So...do you consider Lamar Odom a good player? Artest? What is your definition of "good"?

Blogger Dick Sullivan said...
That's the most elegant summary I have ever heard of a championship team. Well done, sir.

Blogger chris said...
JJ: Well, we're soon going to have Jerry Brown at 9025889025 years old making his triumphant return.

Yay?

Bawful: The business model relies on building a sense of connection with the fanbase.

Which is amazing when you consider how few Association entities actually qualify in doing this.

The Maloofs destroyed their connection with the Sacramento fanbase the night they thought a Carl's Jr. ad flaunting their wealth - not unlike LeBron's "Should I Dissapear" navel-gazing - would appeal to a city of middle-class folks just trying to get by.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Which is amazing when you consider how few Association entities actually qualify in doing this.

Too many teams rely on the "You're supposed to love us because" strategy. Like, you natually love the team in your home city, right? Why not? What's wrong with you??

It's dangerous to take fan support for granted. It actually reminds me of the following section of World War Z:

Public support must be husbanded as a finite national resource. It must be spent wisely, sparingly, and with greatest return on your investment.

America is especially sensitive to war wariness, and nothing brings on a backlash like the perception of defeat. I say 'perception' because America is a very all or nothing society. We like the big win, the touchdown, the knock out in the first round. We like to know, and for everyone else to know, that our victory wasn't only uncontested, it was positively devastating.

If not well.... We didn't lose the last brush fire conflict (editor: the Gulf War), far from it. We actually accomplished a very difficult task with very few resources and under extremely unfavorable circumstances. We won, but the public didn't see it that way because it wasn't the blitzkrieg smack down that our national spirit demanded. Too much time had gone by, too much money had been spent, too many lives had been lost or irrevocably damaged. We'd not only squandered all our public support, we were deeply in the red.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
after 10 years of following the Raptors. (VC's dunk contest was the one that got me in)

I have no favourite team. (I still follow the raptors but not as closely)
I am now a casual fan
and most likely stop being a fan at some point when Leafs of Jays get good or for some reason NFL comes to toronto permanently

when 3 franchise type players (probably only 2) leave your team in a huff. you just get the feeling "what's the point anymore?"

I hope they break the pattern but so far it's not looking good and I'm sure other people will realize this soon

Blogger Japes said...
I actually don't get all the hate for LeBron. I know he left Cleveland for Miami and the decision was an awful way to do it but to produce this much hate? I'm a Craptors fan and Bosh left so I absolutely plan to boo him next time the Heat visit Toronto but I don't expect the rest of the world to hate him either.

So LeBron has an enormous ego, but don't 99.9% of superstars do? Would Jordan ever apologize for something like that? Would Kobe?

LeBron played hard for 7 years for Cleveland and came close to winning a title. It's not like he pulled a VC where he tanked so many games and killed his trade value to the point that the Raps had to trade him for nothing. Even then there isn't nearly as much hate for VC as there is for LBJ.

Anyways, just wanted to add fuel to the fire. Carry on.

Blogger chris said...
Too many teams rely on the "You're supposed to love us because" strategy.

It's sad when the question is, "How many teams DON'T do that" as opposed to the opposite.

Other than the contenders, the stark reality is that other teams generally are not attractive to free agents (unless they massively overpay - and even then, that gets nobody to Sacramento), will not get the benefit of the doubt from officiating, and will never get their own special ESPN coverage like they're the second coming of sliced bread.

So what do teams like that have to offer fans? Dan Gilbert may be insane but at least he's insane the same way the fans are, as opposed to Clay Bennett (from a Seattle perspective) or...um...whoever thought signing Charlie Villanueva to a bloated deal was an actual move worthy of discussing.

Blogger Cortez said...
"I have no favourite team."

Yeah, I'm what I would describe as a rabid casual fan.

I don't care about any of these teams on a personal level. The NBA could shutdown tomorrow and I would be hard pressed to care less.

But at the same time I absolutely love basketball and the NBA, without a doubt, has the best collective of basketball players on Earth.

Even as my body slowly deteriorates, if there is a choice between watching Game 7 or playing pickup with my old college teammates.

DVR...it's FANtastic!

Blogger b r christensen said...
aren't we revising history a little bit if we include miami among attractive destinations to free agents? at least before this year.

i can't think of a high profile FA ever signing in miami.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Damn, this thread was a downer. Here have a photoshop courtesy of The Onion

http://www.theonion.com/articles/raptors-bolster-front-court-with-8foottall-christm,18577/

Blogger Cortez said...
"It's not like he pulled a VC where he tanked so many games and killed his trade value..."

Yeah, he only tanked a handful of games.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Damn, this thread was a downer. Here have a photoshop courtesy of The Onion

I want it noted I also linked to the Onion in this thread to lighten the tone.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
@Evan:

As much as I hate LeBron too, he's right about one thing. He doesn't owe Cleveland an apology for anything. Where the hell do their fans get off thinking he owes you?

LeBron is a multi-millionaire. He became one by playing a game that most of the readership here play for fun. He has no other marketable skills. Wny is he a multi millionaire? Because of the fucking fans.

Yeah he owes them. He owes them everything. Every single sports icon owes what he has to the fans. And most of them know it. But as far as LeBron is concerned, the money just comes from Nike.

Anonymous Hajt said...
All of the media hype about the Heat finally clicking conveniently ignores the fact that the last time they beat a team over .500 was October 29th. Since then, they have lost five consecutive games to over .500 teams, New Orleans, Utah, Boston, Orlando and Dallas. This three game win streak is courtesy of Washington, Detroit and Cleveland. I'd be shocked if they didn't drop one of the next three: Atlanta, Milwaukee and Utah.

Miami seems to be very good at blowing out bad teams, which seems a repeat of Lebron's last two years at Cleveland. Unfortunately, good teams don't make the playoffs.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
kazam92:

Just so we're clear: the 2009-2010 Miami Heat, under Erik Spoelstra, finished the season in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference (47-35) 2nd in the league in opp. points/game (94.2), 6th in the league in defensive rating (104.1), had about 100 more blocks overall than their opponents (457; 355), 100 more steals than their opponents (605; 517), shot .458 from the field themselves and held their opponents to .439 shooting.

They did this with a core group of D-Whistle, The Drain, Michael "the Marshmallow" Beasley, Udonis Haslem, Mario "How did I get a job in the NBA?" Chalmers, and Quentin Friggin Richardson.

So... tell me again exactly why Erik Spoelstra is a poor coach who hasn't even earned some GD respect from his own players? Seems to me like he has shown the ability to squeeze blood from a stone, and deserves at least a season to make things work with some real offensive players. Miami hasn't even played 20 games this year for chrissakes. The offense will come around when everyone is healthy; but when this team, with this much talent, lets Indiana hang 40+ points on them in a quarter, that's just a lack of defensive effort, and I refuse to blame Spoelstra for that, given the team's performance last year with inferior personnel.

But hey, fuck it. I hope Riles DOES take over, and I hope he grinds his players into little nubs and makes them beg to bring "Coach 'Spo" back. You know what they say... "be careful what you wish for..."

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oh, I posted that to try and depress Toronto fans more. Although if the tree could score 27 a game they'd be golden

Anonymous claire said...
Hey! This thread *is* a downer! Why is everyone so down on LBJ?! You guys sound like the nerdy high school kids who hate the quarterback and his super hot girlfriend too. Yes, he is an egomaniac but he's not like a child rapist or something. As a basketball fan, my feeling is this: Lebron James has the potential to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Not because he can do things like Jordan did or Larry Bird did, but because he is *not* like them--he can be "the greatest" in a way that no one has ever seen before, he can reinvent the game by doing things only someone graced with his body and talent could do. As basketball fans, why wouldn't we want him to fulfill that potential? (Because he's a schmuck!!!) But seriously, that is my only hope for him. And from a human standpoint, I don't see why we wouldn't give him SUPPORT so that he gives us GREAT BASKETBALL, rather than giving him DEEP PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACKS so that he gives us FAILURE TO LIVE UP TO HIS POTENTIAL. Would that be satisfying? I know, it's the same old thing, where we say if he is affected by our vitriol then he was never a real winner anyway, but come on.

I suppose I might be a unique case because I was a die-hard Sonics fan left teamless, and this just happened to coincide with Lebron James going crazy against Detroit and... Do you know how strange it is not to hate all the other 29 teams? I root for one at a time and then find myself surprised to be aggressively rooting against the team I was rooting for the week before. I can't just jump on another team's bandwagon, because I grew up hating them all. The solution I found is to root for one player, no matter what team he is on, because he is the only one who, individually, has done things that make me more excited about basketball than I have been since the Sonics went to the finals. And because I missed out appreciating Jordan. And I hate Kobe Bryant.

In conclusion, Lebron James is the Lord Almighty Our Saviour Jesus Christ, amen. Eternal damnation to all who say otherwise!!! (I'm looking at you, Bawful)

Anonymous Czernobog said...
Sorry, AnacondaHL, but we're not actually depressed at all. For the first time in 4 years we have a team that gives a shit. For us that's a huge step forward.

Blogger Evan said...
@Czernobog:

To be fair, not all of his fame came from Cavs fans. He was famous before the NBA draft even happened in 2003. Cleveland was only a part of it. They just happened to be that lucky city with the #1 draft pick in the lottery. They're only a small portion compared to the rest of his fame around the world.

While I do agree with Charles Barkley's opinion that LeBron should have stayed in Cleveland, James made clear 2 years before his contract expired in 2008 that he's more concerned about winning with or without Cleveland as opposed to the fans' support. If I were a Cavs fan at that point in time, I would have reacted like, "We're not good enough for you? Then go ahead, leave for the Knicks if you're looking at New York in a flirtatious manner! We'll win without you!" I don't think many people think like me even now.

So that's why I have a bone to pick with both parties in the drama. While LeBron was indeed a huge dick this past summer, it's ridiculous to think LeBron owes Cleveland's fans anything. James is nothing more than a big-headed, selfish asshole, and you can't expect anything humanly decent from him when personal success is more important to him. That's never likely coming from an immature man-child who kicks trash cans and Gatorade cups like a baby throwing a tantrum.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to expect higher things out of LeBron too, but you have to be realistic. The people aren't going to change him. Only he can change himself by growing up. For now, I'll live with wishful thinking.

On an unrelated note, if I have responsibility for this comment thread being a downer, then I apologize. SEE LEBRON? WAS THAT SO HARD?! Oh wait, that doesn't fit my argument.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
"At all"?!?! Like, zero? Which one of the stages is denial again?
*starts Sonny Weems and Linas Kleiza a bunch of games*
*feels large loss with Reggie Evans out with injury*
*Demar Derozen, second best player*
*is the Toronto Raptors*

Blogger Evan said...
@Czernobog:

To be fair, not all of his fame came from Cavs fans. He was famous before the NBA draft even happened in 2003. Cleveland was only a part of it. They just happened to be that lucky city with the #1 draft pick in the lottery. They're only a small portion compared to the rest of his fame around the world.

While I do agree with Charles Barkley's opinion that LeBron should have stayed in Cleveland, James made clear 2 years before his contract expired in 2008 that he's more concerned about winning with or without Cleveland as opposed to the fans' support. If I were a Cavs fan at that point in time, I would have reacted like, "We're not good enough for you? Then go ahead, leave for the Knicks if you're looking at New York in a flirtatious manner! We'll win without you!" I don't think many people think like me even now.

So that's why I have a bone to pick with both parties in the drama. While LeBron was indeed a huge dick this past summer, it's ridiculous to think LeBron owes Cleveland's fans anything. James is nothing more than a big-headed, selfish asshole, and you can't be mad at him because you expected anything humanly decent from him when personal success is more important to him. That's never likely coming from an immature man-child who kicks trash cans and Gatorade cups like a baby throwing a tantrum.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to expect higher things out of LeBron too, but you have to be realistic. The people aren't going to change him. Only he can change himself by growing up.

On an unrelated note, if I'm responsible for this comment thread being a downer, then I apologize. SEE LEBRON? WAS THAT SO HARD?! Oh wait, that doesn't fit my argument.

Blogger Evan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Uhh, I have no idea what just happened with Evan, but I saw subtle differences in the posts so eh fuck it, published them all.

Jeez bro use the preview button next time.

Blogger Evan said...
@AnacondaHL

I was using the preview button. When I clicked Publish Comment, I kept getting weird error pages with the Google logo that said my comment was too long. So I submitted a shorter version of my comment without the first paragraph. I don't know how all versions made it through. Weird.

Anonymous Jackie Boyd said...
To the several people who have suggested that Cleveland "get over it/yourselves" and/or have linked to deadspin articles with the same sentiments:

Have some sympathy. If you haven't seen it already, watch this video. Yes, its goal was to be evocative, (and the Gladiator elements were lame, but hey, guess-who's favorite movie) but at least they used real testimony from real Clevelanders (the people in the "Rise" response were actors, right?). It seems like it meant a lot for this really poor town to have one of the best basketball players on their team, regardless if he didn't win championships or if he was an egomaniac. They loved him.

Sorry to increase this thread's sad-level. Allow me to mitigate with this Onion link.

Anonymous Business Time said...
Bawful, those PERs you posted for the Cavs and Lakers seem like a good example of "lies, damned lies, and statistics". For example, Shaq by that scale was a "solid 2nd option" last year? Is anyone really going to try and make that argument seriously? He averaged 12/6 and only played 23 mpg in 53 games total. And the 2008-2009 Cavs team only had 2 guys who were above 15.0 which is supposed to be the league average. I mean, Joe Smith is their 4th best player! (Incidentally, I was confused by the 15.0 thing. Hollinger calls 15 the average but then also says 15 represents a "pretty good player" according to that scale).

Another example of why you can't just compare PERs in a vacuum: you mention Odom as a reason why that level of PER is "good". Odom is obviously far better than someone like Varejao who had a nearly identical PER last year. He even has the ability to carry the team for short stints if necessary. I'm not sure I could say that about any member of the Cavs except maybe Mo Will and he sure didn't do that in the playoffs. In fact, I cannot remember a single supporting Cav ever showing up in the playoffs which is perhaps one of the biggest and most important factors against them.

If anything, those Cavs PERs in comparison to the Lakers reinforces my stance that they were merely serviceable. As I said in my previous post, I can't think of another contender with this level of (in)ability in a supporting cast.

Anyway, I think I'm the only guy trying to argue about this in this thread so I'll just drop it and agree to disagree :P

Anonymous kazam92 said...
AK Dave: He's not terribly inept don't get me wrong, but I watched 90% of those games last year. Any heat blog would call for his head after a loss and at first I was skeptical of the criticism, but then I agreed with the sentiments


Myself and many many heatfans were fed up with the way he shunned Beasley repeatedly for a reliable but severely overrated haslem. Beasley would never play the 4th quarter when Wade could actually use a bit of help. The rare times he did, we won (last year a game vs Atlanta stuck out). The media has driven this image that he was an underachiever drug addict with emotional issues, he had his problems, but they were severely overstated. He was a good hearted kid, who did whatever coach wanted him to basketbalwise and still got punished in the end

The offense bogged down to Wade on 5 as always, when the team could've done a lot more than pseudo pick and roll. The rotations were inane at times . Why not play Quentin Richardson at SG? He's surprisingly adept at posting people up (really it's incredible. It's a free 2 points). Why is Joel Anthony on this team let alone the backup center?

But most of all, he's a robot. I can't stand the fact that he has no backbone. He's never gotten mad at his players, his post game press conferences involve the same buzzwords. Make it a drinking game everytime he says "grit" or "energy." You'll be in the hospital in 15 minutes.

The team won 47 games solely because of Wade and the fact that we won 16 of our last 20 games against craptastic crap of teams http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/MIA/2010_games.html

To address the Indiana game, yeah it was bad. I was cursing a storm at the TV and calling LeBron at bunch of bad names. The coach does often become the scapegoat, but when you don't have the ballsack to tell Lebron to stop shooting when he's off, you cant coach the team. I don't wanna say the players only meeting worked in terms of energy, but it mattered.


I'm not the fairweather douche heat fan. Fuck all of them. I watched this team religiously for years.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
As basketball fans, why wouldn't we want him to fulfill that potential? (Because he's a schmuck!!!) But seriously, that is my only hope for him. And from a human standpoint, I don't see why we wouldn't give him SUPPORT so that he gives us GREAT BASKETBALL, rather than giving him DEEP PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTACKS so that he gives us FAILURE TO LIVE UP TO HIS POTENTIAL. Would that be satisfying? I know, it's the same old thing, where we say if he is affected by our vitriol then he was never a real winner anyway, but come on.

None of this has anything to do with LeBron the Basketball Player and everything to do with LeBron the Person. If last night proved anything, it's that he's gonna do what he does regardless of who hates him. If he fails to fulfill his potential, is it any more tragic than, say, Harold Minor failing to do the same?

I'm indifferent to whether he lives up to what he could be. He either will or won't. I've never liked LeBron, but I appreciated parts of his game. And I still will...

...while knowing he's a douchebag.

Anonymous Madre Hill, Superstar said...
@Evan

What you're missing is that a lot of Cleveland fans were resigned to Lebron going elsewhere. We were fine with that. Cleveland fans still cheer for C.C. Sabathia and, hell, Zydrunas Ilgauskas still got a pop in last night's introductions.

But after lying down in Game 5, the Decision, and then coming out with 'I never liked Cleveland, never mind that I hyped up how I'd be the Chosen One to break the curse,' how did you expect us fans to react the first time he pops back up at the Q? No, he didn't owe us anything, but at least he could've had the common courtesy to at least go out with class like C.C. and Z. Instead he went the exact opposite route. I'm more surprised that anyone would be surprised that we acted accordingly.

Anonymous Czernobog said...
"At all"?!?! Like, zero? Which one of the stages is denial again?
*starts Sonny Weems and Linas Kleiza a bunch of games*
*feels large loss with Reggie Evans out with injury*
*Demar Derozen, second best player*
*is the Toronto Raptors*


Yep, you read that correctly.

Mediocre as they are, Sonny and DeMar are the best backcourt duo his team has had since 06' at least. That's a fact. And starting them feels a hell of a lot better than starting Hedon'tgiveashit Turkoglu.

I'm actually happy about Reggie going down with an injury, since he was a net negative in terms of production, and Amir Johnson is a vastly superior player.

Honestly, the Raps gave up Bosh, who was a great player to have on your fantasy team but not to have on your team. Got Barbosa back for Turkoglu's retarded contract in a mind-boggling fleecing of the Suns, and generally replaced their lack of effort wih a whole lot of heart and hustle. I'll take that over Bosh's smooth midrange stroke any day.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Kazam92:

All valid points, and I agree that Spo needs to sack up and assert himself. Still, you have to agree that Miami's record and their statistical accomplishments (especially in the "hustle stats" like steals and blocks) with a pretty crappy roster last year sure makes it look like good coaching, or at the very least hard work by the players.

I guess time will tell. Still, I'm more inclined at this point to blame players rather than the coach. They just look clueless out there at times, especially on defense, and I wonder if that is just plain vanilla uninspired offensive coaching, or players who aren't making runs, setting screens, or otherwise working when they don't have the pill in their hands.

Anonymous Adrià said...
GREAT THREAD MOTHERFUCKERS

Let's go:

Murcy:
Thanks for docfunk aka bothteamsplayedhard.com I'm loving those pics :D

b r christensen:
It's an interesting point of view to think about trades and cuts NBA organizations do, but there's more information (and relevance because of it) about famous players moves, and those are usually made by their own choice, unlike the interchangeable role players of doom.

Solieyu:
You said you think the Lakers could be better without Kobe... I disagree. I think Kobe is not like Nash, but I also think any team with an awesome player, or a star player would dump some talent off the other guys. It's impossible to pump up all the players' talent in a team, you choose which of their abilities work better together, and that's it. I think taking off Kobe would pump some things up but some others down, and it'd made the team worse at the end.

Kazam92:
You linked a good article with a good point, but I have to say that if a lot of people agree about their "How it has to be done", it matters. Laws are not given by God, for example. And I know it's not about serial killing, it's basketball, but in sports people leave a huge load of emotions-money (and I don't like it, trust me) and it's not that simple to say "Who's next?".

claire:
I also like your pro-James words, but if you understand you like to see better basketball, you have to understand it's a team sport, and there are lots of fans that give the league its relevance. These fans want to see THEIR TEAM playing this new-leveled basketball, and they bet for it year after year. I don't say it's correct, I just say they are different ideas with different perspectives.

Long life to this website. And sorry for posting the 1000000002nd comment, time zones suck.

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