I’m back from the most recent blogging hiatus with a LeBron rant. If you’ve been around since the beginning, this may seem like Deja vu. Just a month after the “Decision” in 2010, I came to the conclusion that I had no good reason to hate on LeBron James. Almost two years later, I still haven’t found a legitimate reason to hate him. And people think I’m CRAZY!
Now I don’t get into this often. I’m not a big enough fanatic that I’ll go to bat for James every time I hear someone hating. But on my first night back at the rec reffing summer league hoops, my co-official and I got heated over his hatred for LeBron. In fact, I didn’t realize how adamantly I supported ‘Bron until I was vehemently defending him against my friend’s argument.
His argument: LeBron can’t close games. Now this is most certainly the most popular argument James, albiet a fairly inaccurate one. If you want to argue that LeBron can’t close in the NBA Finals, I will nod in agreement. The memory of LeBron’s most recent Finals performance is hard to recall, simply because LeBron was nowhere to be found when it mattered most. However at every other level, and in every other phase of the NBA season and playoffs, LeBron has single-handedly closed out games. Sure he has missed some game-winning shots. At times, he probably shouldn’t have deferred to guys like Udonis Haslem and Eddie House. He should have kept the ball in his own hands. Enough said.
And if you want to knock the guy for failing to win a title in his first eight seasons, just keep in mind that those eight titles were shared between first-ballot hall-of-famers named Duncan, Bryant, O’Neal, Pierce and Nowitzki (all who can be argued as one of the greatest ever at their given position).
In addition to knocking his late game performances through his first eight seasons, the other reason most give for hating LeBron revolves around him leaving Cleveland. Now while nearly everyone can understand his decision to relocate from balmy Cleveland, Ohio to South Beach, many had a serious problem with how he went about it. The “Decision” was an awful decision, and still couldn’t hold a flame to the dispicable display the big three put on in the Miami Heat pep rally where James proclaimed that they would win “Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven” NBA championships.
I’ll admit, this rubbed me the wrong way. When an athlete is as naturally gifted as James, I expect humility. LeBron James isn’t an arrogant a-hole. I think if you asked him today, he would probably tell you that he got a little over-excited, and he’d gladly eat those words in a heartbeat (a feeling I know all too well).
For the haters, the 2010-2011 season couldn’t have gone any better. The Miami Three took forever to find their groove, struggling mightily through the first half of the regular season. Then, even after getting their act together in the post-season, they were bounced from the finals by Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks. Could it really get any sweeter?
There’s a chance. Tonight LeBron faces his career’s most defining moment. Facing elimination in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, we all get to see if LeBron can close. The best part is, if he does close, we get to see his next defining moment just two nights later.
Long story short. I want LeBron to win. I want everyone’s argument against him to become moot. I want people to accept that he will likely go down as the greatest to ever play the game. I’m a sports romantic, and the nine-year NBA saga that LeBron has led us through is a script even Shakespeare couldn’t write.
Now if you weren’t already JACKED for tonight’s game, this video will take care of that.