I Have to Disagree about LeBron

It’s not just another Finals loss–it’s that LeBron James seems to really be embracing his heel turn now. After losing last night, his post-game remarks sounded like something Ric Flair might have said in his heyday as head of the Four Horsemen:

“All the people that were rooting me on to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had before,” James said. “They have the same personal problems they had to today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want with me and my family and be happy with that.” . . .

“They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy that not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal,” James said. “But they’ll have to get back to the real world at some point.”

Yikes. As a league matter, I suspect it could be really good for the NBA’s main attraction to be a nationally-reviled jerk. As the McMahon family will tell you, there’s no heat like heel heat.

But that can’t be good for Bron-Bron. You don’t get picked up by McDonald’s or Coca-Cola by insulting the public and telling the little people to get back to their little lives. So much for the global icon dream.

– from Jonathan Last Online

Dear Mr. Last,

As much as I loved to watch Dallas win it all last night and Dirk win the MVP award, I watched that post-game newsconference and came away with a different impression of LeBron. The fact of the matter is that it is kind of crazy for NBA fans to hate LeBron (I include myself in that group) and in the end, he’s right about the fact that our hate cannot and should not sustain our love of the game or even our thrill at watching the Mavs beat the Heat (as Wade said in the same newsconference — it is an insult to the Mavs to say that the Heat somehow failed — Dirk, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd played very, very well and deserved that championship). LeBron was also clear that his biggest frustration and disappointment was letting his teammates down — whether or not he just says that for the cameras, it seems like a good answer to me and reminds us all that basketball is a team game and until the Heat learn how to play well together they won’t win a championship.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a bad German accent all morning (sort of a cross between Arnold and Dieter) even though Dirk speaks perfect English. I can’t help myself — I’m really happy for Dallas and I always thought they could do it (that is once the Bulls were eliminated).

P.S. Have you checked out Grantland yet? I like the old-school clean look and it is kind of nice to be able to go read Bill Simmons on his own website. I’m nervous that Malcolm Gladwell is involved but sort of like the idea of Chuck Klosterman being one of the “consulting editors”. We’ll have to keep our eye on the site and exchange thoughts about it in a couple of weeks. To be honest though, I’m not that big of a sports fan to have strong opinions one way or another and should leave the sports writing to more knowledgable bloggers.


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