For sports fans, nothing gets a conversation going like the question, “What do you think about Lebron James?”
His “decision” created a vast swath of haters, while there are still many who have switched from Cleveland to Miami. There are so many opinions swirling around about Lebron James, it is hard to keep track of them (a valid question might be if it is worth it).
Well here are a couple different interesting different opinions about him.
- First, Rick Reilly argues that Lebron is playing as big as ever. (Mind you this came before game 4). He says, “If anything, the way James is playing has only made him double in greatness. James’ legend isn’t shrinking, it’s swelling up like a Macy’s float.I’m the last guy that wants to write a glowing column about LeBron James. I hate how he conspired to get to Miami, hate how he took a short cut to a ring. But you’d have to be visually impaired not to see that James is playing gorgeous, selfless, complete basketball.
- Bill Simmons called game 4 another Lebrondown. He says: “Fact: It’s better for the NBA that LeBron James melted down in Dallas, disappeared and extended his “Wait a second, what the hell just happened???” streak to two straight years. Now it’s threatening to become a late-spring tradition along the lines of Father’s Day, the U.S. Open,and MTV cutting a “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” trailer that ends with someone about to be punched in the face. Why isn’t LeBron shooting? Why isn’t he driving to the basket? Why does his face look like the face of a little kid who just got called in front of the entire class? Why is his performance making me want to google the Wiggles’ “Hot Potato” video? Does he realize this game is being televised? You can’t call it a meltdown or a breakdown; that would belittle what happened. Call it a LeBrondown.”
- Over at Mockingbird they are arguing that Lebron still has to define if he is Batman or Robin, or if there are two leaders on this team. Tonight will be a big deciding factor.
Overall, I think Bill Simmons is right on these couple of points:
Fact: The Decision was the best thing that happened to the NBA in 15 years.
Fact: The Decision’s aftermath created the league’s most polarizing juggernaut in two decades. The Heat were booed in sold-out arenas across the country even as they were selling more jerseys than any other team. For the first five weeks of the regular season, the constant negativity affected the players; you could see it on their faces. In the words of the great Cliff Poncier, all that negativity eventually made them stronger. They reclaimed their status as title favorites, rolled through Boston and Chicago, made the Finals, and morphed into something of a preening, self-satisfied, overconfident bully — basketball’s version of Mike Tyson in the 1980s, so athletically overpowering that it actually seemed to psyche out opponents.During that whole time, they never stopped being compelling. Not once.
Fact: If Miami blows this Finals after choking away Games 2 and 4, after everything that happened since The Decision and The Gratuitous Party One Night After The Decision, the Internet might explode. I’m not kidding. You’re going to log on the next morning and there will just be a picture of a mushroom cloud.