By now, if you haven't seen it, you're under a rock. Let's face it, there's nothing more fun in today's society than pooping all over LeBron James. In this case, he's given us tons to poop on, as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would say.

Let's give the poor guy some credit. He's going around the world on a "goodwill" tour to entertain people in foreign lands. Very nice of him. And yet, given the large percentage of the U.S. population waiting to pounce on him at any misstep (does he deserve to be called basketball's Tiger Woods?), he's in one of those situations he just can't win. If he plays at full speed and effort against the Taiwanese players, he's a bully. If he plays them at half-speed, as he was, he risks getting jammed on by one of the amped-up little dudes, which is exactly what happened.

In defense of LeBron, he was fine up to a point. Yeah, he probably shouldn't have done the slow, repetitive, metronome dribble that allowed his defender to time a steal, but maybe he underestimated his opponent (sound familiar, 2011 Finals?).

And yeah, maybe he should have run harder to chase down the fast break, so he could give himself a better chance to block the shot, but maybe he was still underestimating his opponent (hello again, 2011 Finals).

Maybe he shouldn't have done those things, but honestly, that's all more than exusable, and perhaps even expected. He's in a foreign country trying to give some folks a thrill, and dominating their little team all night wouldn't be the most gracious behavior. So he relaxes here and there, and lets them have their fun.

But not TOO much fun.

The most revealing part of this video is not what happens before this dunk, but what happens after it. Not sure if LeBron expected to get dunked on, but after it happened, and the crowd went berzerk, LeBron went into...not sure what to call it...maybe we can have a contest to name it...for now, let's call it "LeBron mode." This is what LeBron does in response to big moments. Oh sure, he put on a 38-point clinic when he made that regular season return to Cleveland and got booed incessantly, but he was playing a LeBron-less Cleveland Cavaliers team, and he had a long time to emotionally prepare himself for that game.

But in big moments, when something happens and you instantly need to react, LeBron shrinks. Take the simple few seconds after the dunk in this video. LeBron goes through the seven deadly sins in one trip down the floor (ok, maybe just five - not sure lust and gluttony were involved):

1.) (:19) Envy - "That little man just dunked on me. The crowd is going wild. I think they may like him better than I do. I wish I was him."

2.) (:22) Greed - "Give me that ball."

3.) (:25) Pride - "Watch me go behind my back, little man."

4.) (:27) Sloth - "Ok, kinda lost control of the ball, so, ah hell, I'll just travel with it and..."

5.) (:29) Wrath - "...toss it out bounds just to show you people I'm not really trying."

It is the reaction that damns LeBron in this video. It smacks of panic, an inability to process and handle the moment, and ego over logic (there you are again, 2011 Finals. Hi, how you been?).

And finally, to show that he is definitely, officially not trying, LeBron gives up an uncontested three after the turnover. So, even the Taiwanese version of LeBron quits when the going gets tough. Was the player shooting that three named Dirk?

P.S.: Notice how they put all the teeny, tiniest guys on LeBron's team to try to even things out. Don't the Taiwanese know that LeBron doesn't want to have to shoulder the load for the team? Where's D Wade?

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Anonymous Stockton said...
LeBron lost the ball because he was checking some hot asian chick in the stands eating some juicy burger.

Thus, lust and gluttony

Anonymous kono said...
Lebro hate is like coffee in the morning, just what I need to get my day started!

Anonymous JJ said...
It's pretty obvious he wasn't bringing his A-game. So, the steal + dunk doesn't seem that bad. But, LeBron doing "I'm-going-to-get-him-back, wait-no-I'm-not, did-I-just-travel, better-throw-the-ball-away" afterwards was priceless. I don't think LeBron was expecting that guy would actually dunk it in his face and just panicked. Wait, this is a professional NBA player we're talking about, right? A former MVP??

Blogger Evan said...
That is the highlight of that guys sporting life. Good for him! He can tell his grand kids about it when he is old.

Way back in the day, before Lebron won his multiple Nobel Prizes and served his 4 terms as President, I dunked on him! Yup, that was right before Nike lobbied the US government to pass a ban on humiliating him.

Blogger Will said...

Anonymous RipTheJacker said...
"P.S.: Notice how they put all the teeny, tiniest guys on LeBron's team to try to even things out"

You mean those aren't children?!

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Dude, LeBron had to play like 30+ minutes. That's too many minutes. Coach 'Xho knows that.

Anonymous Ghost of Sabonis said...
Here is the video on the Gtown brawl. China sure knows how to escalate a situation (Chairs, bottles, etc.)

PS Free Tibet.

Blogger lordhenry said...
There was one big-moment that Lebron did not shrink from---when Kobe went to dunk during the all-star game. Watching them both eye the basket, then eyeing each other, as if Kobe said, "I don't care that you're here, I'm dunking it," and Lebron, "well, I guess I have to stop you!" It was pretty epic, both of those guys attacking the basket at once.

Now, granted, Lebron failed, but still.

I really hope he is working on his game with Hakeem, though if he really wanted a post-game and a ring, he would do what Dirk did last summer: Call up Kevin Mchale.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"amped up little guys"? How very patronising.

Blogger TeamD said...
You're just mean, i did not see where he got dunked on, i am sure you know what that means. I used to love the guy, the hate him and now i just fill pity for him. Yes he has millions and yes i know i should not do it but i feel sorry for him. He is surrounded by horrible people, he s too drunk on his money to notice and all goes to hell marketing wise.

SO before making fun of him, put yourself into his shoes, maybe you are smarter maybe not but consider the big picture how he grew up, what kind of people he had around him knowing about his talents and that he could become a star. Those people cannot have a good influence on him and that clearly shows in his behavior and personality, full of disorders.

I am getting tired of the cheap sarcasm.

Blogger Lord Kerrance said...
I hate to be this guy, but can you imagine what MJ would have done if some random dude from China had just eaten his lunch like that? Not that it would have happened to MJ, but still.

Anonymous spinetingler said...
MJ would have scored the next 20 points on dunks from the foul line after some combination of blocking 10 consecutive shots/making 10 consecutive steals on the other end.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@ TeamD

That may explain his behaviour, but does it excuse it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...
TeamD - So by your logic if someone grew up in a bad neighbour. grew up around people that shot each other. If he shot at someone he should be excused?
(obviously extreme example but following your logic here)

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Anon - You're right, I should have reserved my patronizing term for the Chinese.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Well, I am a full-fledged member of the LeBron Haters Club. But one thing I frequently remind myself about is this: would I have done any better if I'd had his life? Not sure I can say yes.

Maybe a pointless question, but I think that the corrupting forces that shape young celebrities are pretty fierce. After the euphoria of an excellent playoffs wore down, I started to think that maybe I should be doing more celebrating of those who resist such temptations, and less trashing of those who are basically average representatives of their profession. After all, as many have pointed out, LeBron hasn't raped anybody, waved a gun around in a nightclub, gotten a DUI, killed his chauffeur or any other of the true gems. He's just a raving egomaniac.

Of course, this is a site devoted to bawful, so trash on! I just wanted to examine my navel a bit.

Anonymous John said...
I like to call that "King James" mode. Like when his team is blowing out another team and he starts chucking up heat checks from 5 feet behind the 3-point line. And then showboats when he scores. But blames the ref and/or his team when he doesn't.

Also, did you see the report on Dwade saying Lebron was a great teammate?
Dwade on Lebron: "He’s one of those guys that will bring everybody on the bus coffee in the morning, he’s one of those teammates."

I really can't see Lebron getting coffee for others.. Instead I see Lebron going, "HEY. GET THE KING SOME COFFEE." And then Chris Bosh goes to the nearest Starbucks...