Sports Flash!! My Two Cents On Bron-Bron, Cleveland, & How The NBA Totally Sucks
Since the whole world is about to go LeBron James crazy, I figured I’d throw my opinion out to the Interwebs for all to see. If you are anything like me (God help you), then you are already sick of how the NBA tries to dominate the sports scene on a daily basis. So this whole free agency insanity that ESPN is going to try to force feed to the collective sports world will irritate you worse than one-ply toilet paper after a Taco Bell binge. Too much?
There are several reasons why the NBA, most particularly, the LeBron James situation, are exceptionally annoying. When I was growing up, this wasn’t an issue. As Magic and Larry built their phenomenal careers, I can guarantee you that it never crossed their minds to look elsewhere. I’m certain that players like Kevin McHale or James Worthy would have been good players by themselves, but Magic and Larry made them better. Has LeBron done that with any of his teammates? Not so much.
Why do I bring this up? It’s because LeBron is trying to take the easy way out. He’s down in Miami, participating in some ridiculous free agent summit with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. It’s insanity. Can you imagine Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, and Charles Barkley sitting around, plotting how they could find a team to go to and try to win the NBA Championship? It’s insulting to me as a sports fan. It’s everything that is wrong about the NBA.
While there are several things that I despise about NBA basketball, my main issue is that it is a superstar, not team driven, league. As a sports fan of very particular teams (everything from Philly. Only.), I cannot get behind how the NBA fan seems to get behind these individuals instead of teams. Now that Donovan McNabb is on the evil, awful Washington Redskins, I want every Eagles defensive lineman to try to decapitate him. I will not root for him…well, only when they play the Dallas Cowboys.
That isn’t how it works in today’s NBA. If LeBron signed with the New Jersey Nets, you would see thousands of Nets jerseys on the street within two weeks. I bet if you stopped the guys in that Nets jersey and asked them what city the Nets play in, they would have no clue. That fact alone sickens me, yet this seems to be a perfectly acceptable way for NBA fans to behave.
Think about it. What other sport is like this? Baseball? Nope. The NFL? Not a chance. The NHL? You pull for the laundry, not the player.
The best example of how it feels to pull for a team that I can give is the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, I’m a Phillies fan and I’ll take any chance I get to talk about them, but this example fits. When the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, their team was filled with players that the team drafted or acquired while they were in the minors and brought them up to the major leagues. Their superstar players like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins have only worn Phillie uniforms. This makes the team more endearing to me and I’m not alone regarding that sentiment.
So if LeBron and Chris Bosh decide they want to play in Chicago together, doesn’t that cheapen the entire sporting experience? If I was a Bulls fan, I would feel dirty about it. I mean, that city was fortunate enough to watch Michael Jordan take a garbage franchise and turn them into big time winners.
Ultimately, I feel sorry for Cleveland. It really should be the ideal situation for LeBron and that city. After all, he’s from Akron, OH. He’s essentially playing for his home team, with a legion of fans that are starved for a winner. If he was a real leader, a real athlete with desire and drive and passion to succeed and win, he would push his chips into the center of the table and stay in Cleveland. Instead, he wants to play the role of superstar diva and go play games with his buddies. Michael, Larry, Magic, Isiah, those guys had buddies too. They were called their teammates.
So, right here, right now, if LeBron runs off to Miami or Chicago or New York, it will make me enjoy watching him play much, much less. You could probably equate my lack of desire to watch LeBron to the lack of desire he showed in the second round of the NBA Playoffs this season.
Stay in Cleveland LeBron. Be a man. After all, if you don’t, I’ll have to root for Kobe Bryant to beat you, which is deeply painful for me.