spoelstra facepalm
Pretty much sums it up, don't you think?

The Washington Wizards Generals: The Generals opened the night 0-18 on the road. But hey, they were playing the Timberwolves, right? Even the Associated Press described Minnesota's Target Center as "the arena where losing streaks come to die." What's more, the T-Wolves had lost five in a row and Michael Beasley, Minny's biggest scoring threat, was out with a sprained ankle.

That had to mean "Winning Time" for Washington...didn't it?

Nah. After all, Beasley's absence was evened out by the fact that Andray Blatche missed the game with a sprained right shoulder. On top of that, the Generals got too much love. Too much Kevin Love, that is. Love finished with 35 points and 11 rebounds while going 13-for-18 from the field and 5-for-6 from three-point range.

Speaking of Love, the dude leads the league in rebounding and just cracked the Top 10 in Three-Point Percentage. And he's a double-double machine. According to ESPN Stats and Information, this was Kevin's 26th straight double-double. What's more, he's only the fifth player over the last 25 seasons to have a double-double in at least 26 straight games.

The funny thing is, a lot of commenters on this site have been getting really excited about Blake Griffin's double-doubles while kind of scoffing at Love's. I'm sure that has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Blake is making highlight reels while Kevin looks like he should be making moonshine in the backwoods of Kentucky.

Anyway, Washington actually had a four-point lead with just under six minutes to play...then got outscored 19-3 the rest of the way to lose 109-97. Love scored eight of those 19 points, including a couple ball-busting triples.

Said Generals coach Flip Saunders: "We expected Love to be a handful. We thought he had a chance to beat us. He basically beat us from the 3-point line."

Added Al Thornton: "This is a team we should beat. We just didn't close it out."

There you have it. When a team is 0-19 on the road, they should never, ever have the "this is a team we should beat" attitude. As Yoda would say...that is why you fail.

Said John Wall: "It's embarrassing. that we're the only team left that hasn't won on the road."

Bonus stat: Washington gave up 24 points off 18 turnovers.

Darko Milicic: His double-double (14 points and 11 boards) doesn't change the fact that he scored two points for the other team. A tip 'o the hat to Basketbawful winnetou for the video link.


Kurt Rambis, coach of the year candidate: "It seems like those games, that we've had where everyone's contributed and had a pretty decent game scoring wise, we seem to win the ballgame."

The Orlando Magic: Talk about stat curses.

First, Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus described how amazing Orlando's offense has been since their blockbuster trade. Then ESPN's Tom Haberstroh proclaimed that this year's Magic squad is significantly better than the team that made it to the NBA Finals in 2009.

And just like that, Orlando immediately lost back-to-back games. On Wednesday night, their otherworldly offense utterly failed them in a 92-89 overtime loss to the Hornets. That's right: The Magic couldn't even break 90 points in a 53-minute game.

Last night, Orlando bounced back by scoring 124 points as Dwight Howard went all "God Mode" on the Thunder: 39 points, 18 rebounds, 11-for-19 from the field and 17-for-20 at the free throw line. You read that correctly. I said 17-for-20 at the charity stripe. As Basketbawful reader The Other Chris put it: "Dwight Howard went 17-20 from the line, what the f**k? Mommy I'm scared, is the apocalypse imminent?"

Unfortunately, the Magic's defense -- currently ranked 4th in Defensive Rating -- took the night off to watch Chuck reruns. To wit: The Thunder finished with 125 points on 56.4 percent shooting. Oklahoma City also went 7-for-14 from downtown and earned 37 free throw attempts.

And if you want to talk advanced stats, the Thunder established crazy high marks in Effective Field Goal Percentage (60.9), Offensive Rebound Percentage (34.4), Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt (38.5) and Offensive Rating (137.4).

Compare those numbers to the league averages of 49.7, 26.2, 23.4 and 106.6. Now compare those to what the Magic's defense usually holds opponents to: 48.2, 22.3, 22.2, and 102.0.

Said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy: "We just couldn't stop them at all, but particularly Durant and Westbrook. They're great players, they average 50 between them, but we gave them 68. Last night, it was our offense was awful and tonight we couldn't stop them at all. Obviously, our defense was bad, but we're just playing out of a hole every night. I don't like that trend. Whether we have to make changes in that lineup or something, but those guys -- we're just always in a hole now and that's not good."

Speaking of trends, did anybody take a close look at that nine-game winning streak that had Pelton and Haberstroh (and lots of other people) drooling in admiration? It started with a genuinely impressive homecourt win over the Spurs. It then continued with another home victory over the Celtics on Christmas day when Boston's offense (78 points and an Offensive Rating of 85.7) struggled mightily without Rajon Rondo (although it's worth noting that the Celts led most of the game before getting outscored 29-15 in the fourth quarter).

Then the Magic racked up victories over the Nets (10-28) and Cavaliers (8-30) before holding off the Knicks at home. Then they beat the Warriors (15-23), Bucks (14-22) and Rockets (17-22) in Orlando before downing the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavericks in Dallas. And you'll note that the Mavs have gone 2-6 during Dirk's eight-game absence.

Look, the winning streak was impressive, and the wins over San Antonio and New York were legit. But the rest of the wins probably need to be put in context. Seven of those nine wins were against sub-.500 ball clubs or significantly weakened teams (Boston and Dallas). And even the wins over the Spurs and Knicks were in Orlando, and we all know how important homecourt advantage is.

So, you know, let's not crown the Magic just yet.

By the way, Basketbawful reader Ilkka sent in this image after the Magic lost to the Hornets. Mmm...Magic Steak...

magic_steak_ends[1]

Stan Van Gundy, quote machine: From the AP recap:
There's a belief among some in the NBA that the Skirvin Hilton, where the
Magic stayed, is haunted. "What haunts me are guys like Kevin Durant," Van Gundy
said. "So, I would say this building is haunted because of guys like him, as are
most of the buildings in the NBA. I haven't run into a haunted hotel, just
haunted arenas."
The Miami cHeat: With LeBron James sitting out because karma's a bitch due to a sprained left ankle, the cHeat suffered their worst loss of the season, a 130-102 drubbing by the Nuggets. Those are the most points Miami has allowed all season, by the way.

We all saw this loss coming, right? After all, James was out, Bosh and Wade both logged 40 minutes in the previous night's loss to the Clippers, and teams usually curl up in a ball and die when playing in Denver on the second night of back-to-backs. In fact, TNT flashed a stat that said the Nuggets are something like 46-9 in the Pepsi Center when their opponent is playing for the second night in a row.

Here are some numbers. Seven Nuggets scored in double figures. J.R. Smith scored a game-high 28 points and drilled a season-best eight three-pointers. Denver shot 53.3 percent from the field and hit nearly 50 percent of their threes (15-for-31). They outscored the cHeat 14-5 in transition and 50-34 in the paint.

That last number may be the most important. The Nuggets set the tone early on by getting whatever they wanted around the rim. Miami couldn't have made the paint more inviting if they'd filled it with feather pillows and stuffed animals. Once Denver got it going inside, that opened things up for their shooters. And, well, that was that.

Ultimately, I don't think this loss means all that much, given the circumstances. Well, other than (as Wild Yams pointed out) officially protecting the '96 Bulls 72-10 record from the cHeat and proving Jeff Van Gundy probably should have held off on the crazy predictions.

So instead, I'm going to address something that's been causing a little chatter, namely Henry Abbott's "defense" of LeBron James. From TrueHoop:
Say James did something specific that pissed you off. Say he didn't play where you wanted him to play. Say you thought the TV show was too much. Say he shouldn't refer to himself in the third person. Say you're disappointed or hurt. Who can argue any of that?

But that's not where the majority of James rhetoric lives. It goes far beyond that, with the normal position being to imply that you, NBA fan, has the information, the final word, on the totality of the man ... the whole complicated person ... and you know he's bad.

Every single person who has never met LeBron James, but "knows" he's bad ... well, that's somebody coloring way outside the lines. The public profile of this man does not nearly add up to that.

I have a blog with the word "true" in the title, and we live in a moment when the biggest story in the NBA -- the unchecked villainy of LeBron James -- is not true, or is at the very least unproven. So I am going go keep writing about that. Go back and read, though. My radical point is not to that he's tremendous. It's to ask: How do you know he's so bad? What evidence do you have? And if you don't have good evidence, can we just tone it down a little?
I get where Henry's coming from, and it reminds me of what Friedrich Nietzsche said in On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense (1873):

What does man actually know about himself? Is he, indeed, ever able to perceive himself completely, as if laid out in a lighted display case? Does nature not conceal most things from him - even concerning his own body - in order to confine and lock him within a proud, deceptive consciousness, aloof from the coils of the bowels, the rapid flow of the blood stream, and the intricate quivering of the fibers! She threw away the key.
This was going to lead into another Nietzsche quote. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the one I was thinking about, but (and I'm paraphrasing) it says something to the effect that "since we can't know ourselves completely, we can't possibly know someone else."

So from that standpoint, Abbott is correct. We can't prove LeBron is the NBA version of Dr. Evil. After all, James doesn't hold his pinky to his mouth when he laughs, and he certainly didn't spend five years in Evil Medical School. We don't know him and we'll never know him. If you believe Nietzsche, LeBron's friends and family will never really know him, and LeBron will never fully know himself...no matter how many times he refers to himself in the third person.

And yet, in the final analysis, if Henry is really committed to truth, he should understand that personal truths are and always will be subjective. Hey, according to some accounts, Adolph Hitler was devoutly religious. Moreover, he had a wife, and close friends, and millions of people who believed in him and his causes. It's horrible. But it's true.

In this world, "right" and "wrong" are not concrete, provable things. They are mostly about what you believe in. And, for good or ill, people have the right to decide whether they like or dislike other people based on observation, their internal code of ethics, and their personal biases.

After LeBron made his already-infamous "karma's a bitch" tweet, I said he was an asshole. Now, is his asshole-ness "provable" in the sense Abbott was talking about? Probably not. Last time I checked, science hasn't yet devised a way to quantify how much of an asshole somebody is or isn't. Damn you, science.

But that doesn't mean I don't have the right to observe and consider LeBron's behavior to determine whether he meets my own personal criteria for what an asshole is. And, not that I feel the need to justify my stance, I'm not only referring to the tweeting, the backtracking, or The Decision. Just go through the Basketbawful archives and you'll find years and years of words and actions that illustrate behavior I personally don't care for. Talking in the third person. The whole "I wanna be a global icon" thing. Refusing to shake hands in defeat and then justifying it by saying (in essence) that winners don't show sportsmanship. The Crab Dribble. The way his foot always seems to end up in his mouth.

I could go on and on, but, in my opinion, LeBron's behavior -- and I'm talking about what he says and does off the court -- is arrogant and narcissistic. And in the end, opinion is all we ever have to go on when judging the merits of human behavior. I have the right to make up my mind about whether or not I like LeBron the Man. And guess what? It has nothing to do with what I think about LeBron the Basketball Player. It's not like I'm denying his greatness on the court. I'm simply saying that, based on what I've observed over the last eight years or so, LeBron isn't somebody I'd want to be buddies with.

People make these decisions all the time. I bet there's somebody you don't like at work, and that dislike (or "absence of liking" if you will) is probably based only on what you know about them as a co-worker. You don't know what they're like at home or when they're out with their friends. You didn't grow up with them, go to high school with them, or attend college with them. Under those circumstances, they might have become your bestest friend ever. But as things stand...you just don't like 'em.

That's life. We set boundaries and draw lines in the sand all the time. Of course, there must be reasonable limits. Just because we don't like somebody doesn't give us the right to be abusive or violent -- in either words or actions -- toward them. Nor should it mean we refuse other people the right to like the people we don't. Just because I think LeBron James is a douchebag doesn't mean I would deny others the right to love and adore him if that's want they want. It may make me throw up in my own mouth, but I wouldn't blame them for it.

In truth, we'll never know everything that makes a person what they are. Nonetheless, it is each person's right to choose whether they like or dislike someone based on what we do know. And that's the truth.

Brandon Roy's knees: Roy will have arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees next week. Those poor knees. The Curse of the Frail Blazers continues...

Chris's Lacktion Report: Cartier Martin discovered the ledger yet again after tossing a brick from the Mary Tyler Moore statue for a +1 in 1:51. Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic provided two boards and a field goal in 10:06, only to foul and lose the rock thricely each for a 6:4 Voskuhl.

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70 Comments:
Anonymous Angry Canuck said...
You are perfectly correct. We can't know ourselves completely, let alone a public figure. Yet a public figure is so overexposed that they can't help but drop clues as to what their inner nature might be. Unfortunately James was groomed to be this way from his youth...in a way he never really had a chance to understand what it's like to be a "real" (ie not constantly analyzed, stinking rich and worshipped) person. That's not a justification for his behaviour, but it does help explain it. He may be the most hyped human being since the bearded circa 0 AD.

Blogger Chris said...
I'm still trying to figure out if Abbott is sincerely pro-LeBron, and ardent contrarian, or defending LeBron as part of a scheme to gin up pageviews.

All I know is that my wife, who doesn't follow the NBA, roots for the Heat to lose, and when I told her about the karma tweet, said, "What is he, 10?"

I feel confident in saying that LeBron is a narcissistic asshole.

Blogger Murcy said...
man, I hate how many times "karma is a bitch" used on internet. not just here, or in lebron's tweets, but everywhere on the internet. karma doesn't take effect until your next life. not when your ex-teams gets beaten up, or when you have your next game... but in your next life, or, to be totally specific, between your lives by determining your next one (hinduism) or your ascendance to buddha-state (mahayana-buddhism)

just a question: I understand a need for a funny/abusive nickname for the heat but why exactly cheat? granted, they do get calls their way, but they have superstars, who, for better worse, get calls. and apart from this site, I don't see that many people mentioning that in connection with the thunder, who usually also get many calls.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow. Breaking out the Nietzsche. That's taking things up a notch.

Good post today. I hope Henry Abbott reads it -- it's a damn fine response to his blog.

Anonymous Marc d. said...
Hah, love the Nietzsche quote! Someone should pass that on to Lebron, but I'm not sure he'd get it.

As Kanye states so eloquently: "It's hard to be humble when you're stunting on a jumbotron"

It is perfectly understandable that Lebron would become an egomanical asshole and it's very difficult to say any of us wouldn't also be the same in that position, but I can't help but look at the classy NBA players in comparison (Durant, Duncan, etc.) and see that Lebron falls WAY short. There have been worse (Spreewell for one, and as a Raptors fan I'd add Vince Carter to the list), but if Lebron keeps up this douchebaggery he could end up becoming one of the most hated players of ALL time.

The funny thing tho, which goes back to what I was arguing about here a few days ago, is that if he wins 6 rings in 8 years everyone will forget about all of this and start idolizing him again.

I, for one, hope people NEVER forget The Decision, even if he ends up with twenty rings.

Anonymous flip said...
Matt,
That was a very well written and well thought off explanation.
Since we are used to only seeing your writing skills used towards the exploration of bawful, this was a treat.
And just like Chris said about his wife, I was joined the other day by my mom (visiting for a while) for a doubleheader.
I updated her on what has happened since last season. Mom's a shrink and I thought her professional opinion of "what an incredibly selfish asshole" was very telling...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm still trying to figure out if Abbott is sincerely pro-LeBron, and ardent contrarian, or defending LeBron as part of a scheme to gin up pageviews.

I think Henry is sincerely concerned with the idea of intellectual and, more importantly, journalistic integrity. And he applies those concepts across the board.

As a blogger, and a journalist, it was be irresponsible for him to label LeBron and asshole without the necessary "proof." I get that...but, as I said, there's no such thing as proof that somebody's a bad person because what constitutes "bad" is, to a very large extent, subjective. I mean, really, about the only things you could ever get a consensus on is that murder, rape, and child molestation are bad...and everything else falls into the fuzzy grey zone.

Anonymous Angry Canuck said...
Speaking of bad, what was with TNT giving all kinds of positive spin face time to loathsome team stealer Clay Bennett last night? Sure Oklahoma City has great fans and all, but there was some serious spinning going on there.

Blogger Rubes said...
I want to nominate Chris Webber for the bawful list. Did anyone else catch his insightful post-game analysis on the possible Carmelo trade. He believes that Carmelo should go to the Nets who have a "better recent history" than the Nuggets. It's weird, but I can't remember the Nuggets starting 0-18 and having a 12 win season in recent history.

I think a whole post could be dedicated in how stupid that statement is.

http://www.nba.com/insidethenba/

around the 3:50 mark

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I don't disagree with any of this. Canuck and Marc D. echoed some of my sentiments.

but cHeat? It took you that long?


Oh and Wizard fans, please tell me about Mike Miller. He's working his way back but he's 3-21 from the field this year....

Blogger Passives Abseits said...
wow, two Germans in one Basketbawful post... the one is almost impossible to understand, the other is actually an Austrian...
oh, and I don't like to be picky after an actually great and surprisingly serious post, but that dude is still written Adolf Hitler

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I don't disagree with any of this. Canuck and Marc D. echoed some of my sentiments.

I've been meaning to tell you specifically, as our resident cHeat fan, that (and I tried to make this clear in the post) my feelings about LeBron the Man have nothing to do with how I regard LeBron the Basketball Player. I know how good he is...and how well Miami has been playing.

but cHeat? It took you that long?

Well, we use so many variations here -- Nyets, Craptors, Pissed-ons, etc. -- that it finally felt right.

Blogger Josh said...
@ kazam92

People have been saying "cHeat" since before the season even started, probably even on here. Rather appropriately, too. If you're talking about how long it took for Bawful to use it in a post, well I'm not gonna go back and reread all the posts since last summer, but I have a feeling it was used at least once in an entry before now.

@ Murcy

Them being the Miami cHeat doesn't directly refer to their superstar calls (though James is most certainly in the top 3 of players most benefitted by said cals), it refers to "the big 3" colluding over the summer, actually probably for years, about playing together when their contracts were up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I thought cHeat started with the finals, when there were quite a few suspect calls to get them back into it vs the Mavs

Anonymous JJ said...
Bawful, I agree with your analysis of your LeBron situation and concept of truth. Very well explained and I enjoyed reading it. +10 for you.

But, definitely not what I was expecting this morning. It went way deeper than I was mentally prepared for. If there wasn't the usual bawful news, I'd have thought I went to a wrong site. Haha.

Oh, and though you said, "Just because we don't like somebody doesn't give us the right to be abusive or violent -- in either words or actions -- toward them," we all know it's actually OK to be abusive (or should I tone it down and say "poke fun"?) in words. Or this site would be shut down. =)

Anonymous simon said...
Bawful -

FWIW, I've probably been more in the pro-Lebron segment of the population, only because of how rabid a lot of Lebron hate is so anything other than pure vitriol is positive. The dude is does so many absolute douche-tastic things that it's pretty clear he's obviously a prick at some point. While I think most relatively mainstream bloggers (including yourself in that group) handle it pretty well, it just gets annoying to see every post that mentions Lebron filled with 40 comments about how he's an asshole/prick/worst person to ever play in the NBA, and I'm sure guys like Henry get all that and worse through e-mails. Most of these are fairly retarded and usually involve ridiculous comparisons with white-washed versions of MJ or Kobe (i.e. MJ would NEVER show up fans in their arena like LeCheat!).

It reminds me of Kobe's "RAPIST!!!" days when 90% of the NBA fanbase couldn't recognize anything positive Kobe might do because he was a misogynist criminal who had just run off Shaq as well.

The thing is, these situations, Lebron included, deserve mockery, and I'd hate to see the good practitioners of it stop (yourself included, Bawful), but I personally could do without having to see comments after every single Heat game from anonymous internet commenters about how because Lebron stared some guy down or got some foul call it's further proof that he's the worst person to ever hit the NBA.

So weirdly, I agree with both of you. Lebron the person should absolutely be mocked in spite of the brilliance of Lebron the basketball player, but it'd be nice to be able to look through comment sections without reading how in the 2nd quarter of the last Heat game Lebron did the most unprecedentedly douchey thing in the world that no one else in the world would ever do.

Anonymous sixtyeight said...
"It's not like I'm denying his greatness on the court. I'm simply saying that, based on what I've observed over the last eight years or so, LeBron isn't somebody I'd want to be buddies with."

I said exactly the same words (well, their italian counterparts) yesterday while discussing the lebron drama with my girlfriend, who fell asleep istantly. Very well written, couldn't agree more with you. :)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
simon - Yea, and I'd like to eat healthy all the time, but when a perfectly seared medium-rare steak literally walks itself into your mouth every other day...

Anonymous Simon said...
Touche, AHL.

Not trying to say he doesn't do a lot of douchey things, just that people spend a lot of effort trying to conflate mundane things with the "Lebron is the biggest asshole ever to play in the NBA".

Like with his comments about contraction. I thought it was a semi-reasonable point that a lot of people probably agree with on some level even if they don't say it, but we basically had a full week of "Lebron thinks basketball in Jersey and Minnesota is beneath him. What a gigantic fucking asshole" comments everywhere.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Speaking of delicious steak, if Nash gets voted into the ASG, he said he would try to dunk.

Sadly, Kobe and CP look like locks, but that's nothing the power of a Chinese botnet can't solve!

Anonymous JJ said...
OMG!! I've been waiting YEARS for this. I'm going to go vote just to see Nash dunk!!

I've heard rumors he did it in practice because a teammate made a bet that he couldn't do it. But I could never find any actual clips.

Anonymous kaos021 said...
While I know you were making a serious point, I'm still a little disappointed you didn't work in your certainty that Kobe is pure evil.

Blogger Austin said...
Bawful -

The way I have always read Abbott was that he was saying LeBron isn't evil.

He's not saying he isn't arrogant or narcissistic, maybe even not denying his asshole-hood, but saying he isn't maliciously evil - just kind of stupid.

I think I agree with this. LeBron is just a spoiled brat - he doesn't hate the people of Cleveland, he just honestly fails to understand them on any meaningful level.

Anonymous charade said...
Sad but true fact: you would not want to be friends with 95 percent of NBA players.

Pointless to single him out for it.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
1) Nice opinion piece. I seriously envy your writing skills.

2) Who gets credit for Darko's "Own-Basket"? Is that a "team basket", in the vein of a "team rebound"? They probably just give it to the guy closest to him, but I'm interested in knowing the rule if anyone knows.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Nah it's cool....maybe something more creative.


As for me defending, look I defended The Drain last year (he had a good regular season), I defended Antoine Walker etc.... I guess I've developed a rep here as the resident Heat fan....dont associate me with the braindead morons who couldn't name our starting 5 last year


Oh and still waiting for a Mike Miller scout.....anyone?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
While I know you were making a serious point, I'm still a little disappointed you didn't work in your certainty that Kobe is pure evil.

Oh, well that's a given, right, like gravity and water being wet.

Blogger Josh said...
@ Basketbawful

While I'm a Kobe/Lakers fan and usually find myself defending him in a lot of situations, it is pretty undeniable that that motherfucker is pretty damn evil.

Makes me wonder what kind of punishment backload he's been holding back from Son of Walton for so long...

Anonymous Shrugz said...
You should have a psychologist that never heard of lebron james. and just give them articles on what they have said and did. and get a judgement based PURELY on that and not basketball

then see what type of person he is lol I'm sure there's a psychological term for A-Hole

Blogger Josh said...
@ Shrugz

Egotism, Narcissism, Egocentrism. Take your pick, there are many more.

The list for athletes... actually the list of any public figure that this applies to is so long it puts Greg Oden to shame.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Abbott drives me crazy. I used to love reading truehoop and now 90% of his articles are about Lebron and it's always the exact opposite of what my brother/friends and I are feeling. Just read the 'first cup' and never go back to site, he sucks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Amen to the Lebron comments

Anonymous Torgo said...
I know it's cool to make fun of Darko and all, and that tip-in was in fact hilarious, but not mentioning his sick-ass behind the back dribble spin layup is simply sickening. come on! give the man a break.

Anonymous Marc d. said...
Technically, Kobe's evilness cannot be compared to gravity because there is no gravity in space, and Kobe would be just as, if not more, evil in space.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Lebron could murder 23 babies and Abbot would say that it was justified because those babies would have killed him if he hadn't killed them first. Hopefully somebody gets the "Free Hat" reference. But seriously, Abbot would do that.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I want to make clear that this is not an anti-Henry Abbott post. Henry is a friend of mine and I respect his opinions even when I don't necessarily agree with them. I also tend to think his posts were aimed at the more vitriolic comments/posts around the Interwebs than, say, me calling LeBron an asshat.

I understand where Henry is coming from. Especially as a journalist.

Anonymous Matt said...
Why the new cHeat nickname?

Blogger LotharBot said...
The Darko own-basket was credited to Al Thornton (the other guy involved in the jump ball) according to ESPN's play by play.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Who gets credit for Darko's Own-Basket?"

The closest defender as determine by the officials.

"Henry is a friend of mine and I respect his opinions even when I don't necessarily agree with them."

I respect his right to have an opinion. His actual opinions on the other hand are, at times, filled with some not so well thought out ideas and conclusions.

Although I get his general point (about the dislike of LeBron) and his intent may not to be an apologist...

...every article he writes about the subject reads just like an apologist's screed. Which is why hugh numbers of people have come to the same conclusion.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I started recognizing the pattern of athlete denial after Marion Jones. So seeing LeBron backpedal yet again was no real surprise to me.

If Kevin Durant gives in, I give up. It's just too mean.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Blake's new nickname: "Dunk Porn"? Will his career end short but with many video clips like many-a pornstar's?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I made that comment mainly to see if anybody saw that episode of South Park. In all seriousness, I don't think Henry Abbot is a bad guy. I know he means well. It's just that the clear pro-Lebron agenda in his blog is unprofessional. Look, I can understand somebody coming to Lebron's defense at this point in time to provide some balance and perspective. It's just that Henry Abbot comes to his defense all the time in every single situation, seemingly regardless of the circumstances. Lebron deserves a ton of criticism for how he has handled himself publicly. I have a hard time seeing how someone that values "truth" can't recognize this.

Anonymous arnav said...
@Marc d. Not arguing against Kobe's evilness, but gravity does in fact exist in space

Blogger lordhenry said...
I really dislike how 'TrueHoop' has become a pulpit for Lebronaganda, but at the same time, I never would've known about this site if Henry didn't post links to it during the now defunct "Bullets" he used to do everyday.

I am sure I am not the only person who found out about this site in this manner. Henry deserves some props for recognizing this blog and adding to its fanbase. As much as we argue, mock and openly rant at each other, this site would be less fun without the rest of us.
So whether you are a cHeat fan, a Lakers fan, or a straight-up troll, I think we can all agree that the more the merrier, and we have Abbott to thank in part for that.
I'm probably late to the party on this, but does anyone else find it funny that Lebron loses on the same floor the cavs lost on just the night before?

Remember, God sees everything, Lebron.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Basketbawful ... "Oh, well that's a given, right, like gravity and water being wet."

Ha ambiguity! Gravity is wet?

Anonymous AK Dave said...
@lordhenry:

Agreed. I found this blog while reading truehoop as well.

Blogger KHayes666 said...
Jermaine O'Neal needs knee surgery less than 2 weeks after I write an article about getting him back healthy.......maybe the Celtics SHOULD look into getting Rasheed Wallace back like the Globe suggested.

When Kendrick Perkins returns he's not going to be 100% and everyone knows he'll be in foul trouble almost every game. You can't count on Shaq to carry the load (and he hasn't had a great game since the beginning of the year) and Davis is a better forward than center. With Semih Erden playing with a separated shoulder (which also needs surgery) the addition of Jermaine was critical. Maybe Sheed can get in shape in the next month and join them after the all-star break?

Anonymous Alien Human Hybrid said...
It seems like Bawful and the majority of posters on this blog are not familiar with the concept of selection bias. If something (an experience, or a supposed fact) predisposes you to a certain perspective, it becomes very easy to fit all other stimuli into this perspective.

Bawful does this all the time, and it is pretty sad. At least Abbott attemtps to address this.

Blogger Rich Muhlach said...
Simple fact is that LeBron is dumb. He's really, really dumb. For real. And the fact that he backpedals his statements or attempts to justify them make him look even more of an idiot.

Blogger Jimmy said...
Basketbawful, you have a point... to an extent. Yeah it's alright if people dislike LeBron James. Of course. Abbott didn't imply otherwise. But it seems like you are also trying to defend the exaggerated hatred that people put on the dude. Yeah, like the you said, it's alright to like/dislike someone even if you haven't known them personally, just based on whatever snippets of their behavior that you have seen. But to judge that person's nature, to actually convince yourself of that person's personality to such a degree, that seeing other people think otherwise of the person makes you "throw up in my own mouth" is taking it too far. You have the right to do that, sure, but it's unreasonable, and kind of unfair to the person you are making an exaggerated judgement about.

Guys like LeBron are trying to be entertainers, which is a good thing for the league, and PR isn't as easy as it is for players who do nothing but play. Players and coaches who have personally known LeBron and spoke out about it have said he is a good guy. Even Mike Brown, who got fired in an attempt to bring LeBron back to Cleveland, said that recently, after the whole twitter thing. Give LeBron a break; if people don't know the guy, people should keep their shots at him to a reasonable level.

Anonymous senorglory said...
The "N" in NBA stands for "Nietzsche." Little known fact.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Although I am 80% there in agreement that LBJ could indeed be an asshole, I think that there still remains the possibility that he may instead be a douchebag. Had a long conversation with my son the other day as to what quantifies, or qualifies one for one designation or the other.

Some are pretty easy; eg. Bellicheck is an asshole. Grouchy, curmudgeon type = asshole. A D-bag could display these characteristics, but generally will exhibit more lapses in intelligence and overall acumen and savvy. Brian Bosworth was a major league D-bag. Same goes for Lenny Dykstra. A douchebag who's behavior persists over an extended period of time runs the risk of turning into a "dick" ( a hybrid of sorts), and if not abated, most likely becomes an A-hole.

Let's try some more..
Kevin Garnett=Asshole
Dennis Rodman= Douche Bag
Donald Sterling= DBag
John Stockton-SOB (we'll cover that another day)

You get the picture..

Anonymous Anonymous said...
some of you are so fucking stupid. what is lebron supposed to do? take responsibility for his comments? then he'll have 10 times the number of people bitching at him. there would be no end to the retarded questions he has to answer. but a simple "it wasn't me" is all he needs and he's done. how are you going to get mad at him? it wasn't him! he didn't do anything! see how smart that is?

if you don't want to be buddies with lebron, you are the dumbest motherfucker of all time. do you guys just not think and go straight to being irrationally pissed off? do you understand what it would mean to be friends with lebron? can you imagine going to lebron's party and having him say,"yeah this is my buddy Bawful over here, take good care of him"? you would be surrounded with the hottest black chicks you've ever seen in your life!!! models, strippers, porn stars, gold digging sluts, you name it. and they would be all over your nuts JUST for being friends with lebron.

so the next time you're beating it to some fine ass black porn star (and if you don't, START RIGHT NOW, trust me, it'll improve your life and you'll thank me later when you realize how hot black girls are) i want you to really think about what you said. once you get to thinking, "damn i wish i could do this in real life" then the next thought that comes to you will be "shit, i would give anything to be lebron's buddy..."

Blogger Jimmy said...
I'm gonna join the fun and call 75% of these commenters stupid assholes. Anyone who says otherwise makes me sick. But I love to hate, what can I say?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
As long as the people willing to give LeBron the benefit of the doubt due to them "not knowing him in person" also felt the same way about Kobe all along, then I'm cool with that. That's really my main complaint about people who defend LeBron, because I'd wager that most of them are huge hypocrites due to the way they've felt about Kobe all these years, even though they don't know Kobe any better than they know LeBron. That's why I gotta side with Mr. Bawful on this one: he's got no problems assuming Kobe is a prick based on his actions over the years, and similarly he's got no problem assuming LeBron is a prick based on his actions either. Abbot, meanwhile, very clearly made all kinds of negative assumptions about Kobe a long, long time ago and has thus heavily slanted any reporting about him in a very negative way. And then here comes the next big star who's got similar reports of douchebaggery, but for whatever reason, Abbott thinks is wrong for people to judge someone they don't know in real life. It's the hypocrisy that bothers me the most. And if you're wondering if I'm being a hypocrite, no, I too think that Kobe is probably a major league dickhole too.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I would just like to say that your response piece to Henry Abbott was exceptional. Really well written, and I agreed with it in its entirety. Mind you, I also respect Abbott, and I can understand where he's coming from when referring to some of the extreme vitriol directed at James that can sometimes go over the top. But at the same time, it is our right to form opinions of others from the various facts that we are presented with.

I can dislike Lebron as a person, while not taking anything away from him as a player.

Keep up the great work, guys.

Anonymous yogi said...
I don't think you need to quote Nietzsche in order to justify your feeling that someone, for example Lebron James, is a selfish, insular, spoiled brat, who knowingly quit in a crucial playoff game so that he could renege on his promise to bring a title to the team that he swore allegiance to in order to team up with his friends, all of whom agreed to this plot years before.

And quitting on your team in a playoff is, in my book, cheating.

That said, Abott's hypocrisy is obvious, and I too find it difficult to read him anymore. His constant defense of LeBron is so obviously insincere that it has begun to sicken me. I liked his writing much better before he joined ESPN.

Blogger Jimmy said...
Wow. Just look at the imagination that goes into some of these haters' comments. Same goes for the way some writers write about LeBron. Because there is just so much fun in painting this picture of LeBron that people love to hate. Some making themselves mad trying to make LeBron into epitome of the asshole.

This is ridiculous. I think that people who enjoy throwing the words asshole/douchebag/other creative versions of the term etc. around at people are assholes themselves, so just based on what I've read from these comments I might decide to label these commenters as assholes. Or at the very least, douchey in inner nature. According to Bawful's sentiment, I would be justified in believing that. If you agree with Bawful, then you should be feeling the desire right now to defend my point of view in that you are an asshole.

OpenID lubricity said...
Debate Rule #1: if you have to invoke Hitler to prove your point, you automatically lose.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think the lot of (mostly white) fans are simply negative nancies, with way too much time.

Lebron was shipped from home to home during grade school before his last few years of high school. So this "insular, spoiled" treatment people talk about are mostly people's fetishes about what "today's athletes" are supposed to be like - y'know arrogant, when they are lucky to be getting paid and not flipping burgers.

As a black person, let me put to rest the whole third person haranguing. Speaking this way is a colloquism used in the urban community for emphasis - NOT AGGRANDIZING! Now it is probably odd grammar but there is no need to impute devious motives to it. You will note that it is used by many, many players in obviously innocuous contexts. It is very much like its cousin, the "me, myself".

Lebron is making some bad moves - to which he is now added an understandable (imho) defensiveness. He is not a bad guy. He was great for seven years, why don't you nancies cut him a break over a one-hour spill. It's all too much.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
lubricity - Nonsense. Invoking Godwin's Law is a longstanding and proven tactic of Internet debate winners.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ Alien Human Hybrid
Man, selection bias is probably Henry Abbott's biggest downfall. Everyone has their own "blind spots" as I like to call it, but some can see the error in their ways faster than others, I believe Henry is of the latter personality.
Why do you think he perpetuates Lebronganda articles, criticizing the blogosphere in general, telling fans to "get over it!" when it is he himself who cannot seem to get over it?!?!

BTW Kobe Jellybean Bryant is fucking awesome. This much I know to be a constant truth in life, not so sure about gravity being wet tho hmmmmmmm...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ flip & Chris

I too am a dabbler in psychology. While I loved your official diagnostics, I'd like to believe that Lebron is a bit erm, special, if you know what I mean. As in, his body put too much emphasis on athletic development that his brain never got to properly develop. It's certainly a different theory from merely saying, "he's selfish, egoticstical, insecure, unaware, etc."

Or maybe he's just an asshat, no further explanation necessary... what do you guys think?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ Wild Yams
I couldn't agree more with you on the BLATANT Kobe/Lebron bias in Henry's articles. When has Henry ever threw Kobe a bone? When has he ever said, "hey you don't know him, stop judging him" or a simple, "Hey, he was acquitted? As in, not guilty?"

But honestly, is this all a surprise for anybody? ESPN forfeited ANY notions of journalistic integrity when they allowed LeDecision to air AND said "yes sir King James!" when they gave away the proceeds (which is THEIR money, not Lebron's) to charity. And to think that there's still people who insist Lebron did a good think by donating to charity, those ignorant bastards...

So to me, it's not a surprise that Kobe, Wade, Durant, Howard etc. are all underexposed superstars, how can they be overexposed when Lebron is everything on espn's mind?

P.S. I kept count of overall "positive" Truehoop articles about Kobe Bryant I ran into throughout the years. You know how many I found? Just one:
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/6508/kobe-bryant-no-mere-god-of-destruction

It's actually a really really good article overall, I remember thinking to myself, "This can't be Abbott" when I first read the article. Must read for any fan of the nba!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Weren't you the one who was so sure Kevin Love was gonna be a bust? I guess getting playing time helps to not be a bust.

I still think his rebounding is a bit overrated. This is a dude that can get 5 rebounds on one possession simply because he can't convert a put-back. But his understanding of rebounding angles is to be commended for sure. Dude is just tremendously skilled player, but the best part of his game (passing) is being underused, I mean come on Kurt, you employ the triangle offense for crying out loud! At least let him whip out some sweet outlet passes..

Blogger Rogue said...
It is funny how I found this blog too through true hoop but it's been a while since I even bothered to read anything from true hoop anymore. Abbot used to be good but now days he is just another espn drone. I think it was inevitable .

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Weren't you the one who was so sure Kevin Love was gonna be a bust? I guess getting playing time helps to not be a bust.

I never said K-Love was gonna be a bust...I simply said the T-Wolves would have been better off keeping O.J. Mayo. Look like I mighta been wrong on that, tho'...

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I honestly can't remember where I found this blog from, but I think I discovered it from Hardwood Paroxysm, back when Matt Moore and Mr. Bawful were collaborating on ranking each conference in reverse order (Powerless Rankings or something like that?). And I think I found HP from FreeDarko, which was the first basketball blog I remember reading with any regularity.

Blogger gordon gartrelle said...
You certainly have the right to belive that a public figure is a bad person, even if you base this belief solely on his public persona.

Cooler heads, however, have the right to place you in the same company as those who hate actors playing evil characters.

Anonymous Ignarus said...
Let me start off by saying that I love this blog and its irreverent tone. (BTW, I miss the My Player updates...)

That said...

You do no justice to the basis of the "Lebron's not the villain he's being made out to be" by either plumbing the depths of epistemology or comparing him (even favorably) to Hitler. It's a sloppy smokescreen to talk about the impossibility of knowledge and the subjectivity of human belief when the charge is to critically challenge the assumption that Lebron's now an NBA bad-guy.

If Abbott is challenging people to actually back up their vague sentiments of Lebron-Villainy, just list off the stuff that's been douchey about Lebron since he came into the league and you're done. Then your argument is "he's always been a douche and it's just worse now that he's not even willing to fight for the underdog at 25."

Personally, I think the biggest disappointment people feel is the vicarious pain of being abandoned after "doing everything right" and the breaking of the unspoken rule that Big 3's are only tolerable if they're old.

And the pageantry of it all. Ugh. People defending Lebron always gloss over the disgusting, on-camera self-centeredness of the whole free agent process. It was actually worse with Chris Bosh, who was apparently trying to make a movie, but he's just not good enough for anyone to care.

I mean, Elton Brand was vilified for leaving the Clippers and Carlos Boozer was charged with cheating a blind man when Utah came at him with $60 million guaranteed.

With the precedents set in those two cases, the only worse thing Lebron could do would be to get injured a lot...

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