Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Why It’s Wrong To Root Against Lebron James

Like many young boys coming of age in the ’40s and ’50s, my dad had an almost unhealthy affinity for Westerns and cowboy culture. Actually, “had” is the wrong word. “Shane” is still one of his favorite movies, and it’s not uncommon to drive up to my parent’s house and catch my dad in the middle of a “Gunsmoke” marathon.

And, also like many young boys infatuated with Westerns, my dad wanted to be a cowboy. Since there weren’t many 10 year old Black cowboys in the 1950s, he pretended as best as he could; rocking tassels and holsters with plastic guns in them whenever and wherever he could. (I think he even wore them to school)

Yet, if you hear my dad tell it, these memories produce an uneasy ambivalence. While he treasures the memories of walking up and down his block, pretending to be a cowboy, he feels a certain way about the fact that, by playing “Cowboys and Indians” — a game where the the kids in the neighborhood pretended to be cowboys chasing down and killing Indians — and by rooting against the Indians in many of the shows he watched, he was playing for the wrong team.

As a kid he didn’t realize this, but as he grew older and learned about some of the things that really happened in the Wild Wild West and to the American Indians, he grew horrified at the fact that American culture had villfied the Indians and that he happily took part in that vilification.

I imagine the people still reading are probably wondering how exactly I’m going to tie Lebron James into this story about my dad. A few may even already be upset at the thought that I’d dare compare Lebron’s plight to that of the American Indian. If you are one of these people, relax. I know it’s not that serious.

What is (slightly) serious though is the fact that, like my dad rooting against the Indians, I believe that those vehemently rooting for Lebron to fail will be on the wrong side of history. 20 years from now, I have no doubt that even the most fervent members of the anti-Lebron fan club will be thinking to themselves “Wait…why was I rooting so hard against him again?”

“Being on the wrong side” of history doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are rooting against a person who will eventually become a champion. Whether the Heat beat the Thunder in the Finals or not has no bearing on my argument. My point is that in time, history will show that today’s prevailing narrative — Lebron represents everything wrong with sports/celebrity culture — was false, and we were fools to believe it.

His situation has created a paradox where people are rooting against what they feel he “represents,” while simultaneously rooting for others who exhibit the exact same qualities. For instance, I watched game seven of the Eastern Conference finals at a sports bar in New York City. Maybe 80% of the people in attendance were noticeably rooting for the Celtics. The Boston Celtics. A team that won a championship a year after three of the 20 best players in the league decided to play together there.

Let me repeat myself: These were the Boston Celtics. I was in New York F*cking City. If you’re familiar with sports at all, you know that New York and Boston have fierce rivalries in every sport. They’re about as close to a contemporary version of the Hatfields and the McCoys as you’re going to get.

Yet, despite the decades of animus between these cities, the majority of the patrons in this bar were rooting for the Celtics just so that Lebron would lose. They could have given two shits about K.G. and Rondo and Ray and Doc. One of the bartenders was so anti-Lebron that if Paul Pierce sent him a text saying “Man, your daughter got some good p*ssy.” he probably would have replied back “Beat Lebron and you can f*ck my wife too!”

Now, saying that it’s wrong to root against Lebron doesn’t mean that you have to root for him. You do not have to be a fan of him or his game. And, if you are a fan of Kevin Durant (more on him a minute) and the Oklahoma Thunder, you (obviously) want Lebron and the Heat to lose because you want your team to win. The wrongness comes when a narrative makes you want a person to fail, regardless of who would benefit from that failure.

Also, fans of the “OKC represents everything right with sports” narrative, listen up. The funny thing about sports narratives is that they tend to be completely arbitrary and usually false. 10 years ago, Kobe Bryant was touted as the “Anti-Iverson,” the representation of what’s right with sports and how to play the right way….and you see what happened to him. After Kobe’s star fell, Lebron became the Anti-Kobe, the one who played the right way and respected the game the way it should be respected…and you see what happened to him. Today, Kevin Durant is the new golden boy, the Anti-Lebron, the one who does and says all the right things and doesn’t even have any visible tattoos.

I’m not suggesting (or hoping) that Durant will be found to be the antithesis of what the narrative currently says. But, like with the Cowboys and the Indians, maybe the distinction between who’s “good” and “bad” isn’t as clear as we want to believe.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Here’s the problem with rooting against LeBron – he’s done nothing wrong, i.e., I get rooting against Chris Brown. But are YOU a better person if he loses? Is he going to stop being a millionaire if he loses? Wasted energy.

    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

      errrm, yes I will sleep berra at night, my breathing pattern will most certainly improve

      • http://www.twitter.com/ShaneAwesome Shane

        Cosign… lol.

        Personally, I don’t think LeBron is the end all and be all of the failure of modern sports.
        When he does well, I’ll give him his props.

        I just don’t like the boy.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

    This article says EXACTLY what I’ve been trying to tell people for the past 2 years!!!

    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

      I’m now TEAMMMMMMMMMMMMMM OKKKKKKKKKKC!!

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      The Celtics did the EXACT same thing that The Heat did. The only difference is that it was predicated more by the organization than the players. They played the clip of Lebron James saying the other night that Boston inspired he and Wade to want to play on the same team. They KNEW that was what they had to do to get it done… to even have a chance of beating the Celtics in the next few years. So the fact that people LOVE the Celtics and hate the Heat boggles my mind. Boston essentially BOUGHT a team, which fans usually HATE. How could you hate on young black men for taking control of their own destinies and at least TRYING to figure out a way to achieve their goals(a championship) on their own terms. Of course the media is gonna crucify them…”How dare these young black men sidestep the usual bureaucratic processes of the front offices filled with old white/Jewish men”. But what bothers me is that SOOOO many black people completely buy into that. We should be cheering for them. And then those same people LOVE the Celtics when Boston btw, although very left wing politically, has got to be THE most racist city along the eastern seaboard. I love Rondo, Allen, Garnett, and Pierce as players but I hate the Celtics as a team.

      And I understand that the “Decision” and the ensuing pep rally was obnoxious but come on… these are young black men in their 20’s who grew up not having sh*t, WE of all people should understand and forgive them their exuberance when they feel like they’ve achieved something. It just doesnt’ make sense to me.

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

        I disagree with you on Boston being THE most racist, uh uh. That one I PUT my foot down, and it has nothing to do with Celtics, just experience from living there!!! It is a very diverse and progressive city. A melting pot of cultures

        Eh, wow-I am not that knee deep about the political rhetoric about my dear and poor Celtics, but thanks for the knowledge and ish!

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          Boston Celtic’s great Bill Russell called Boston a “flea-market of racism”.

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

            whatev….my experiences have been VERY positive!

            • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

              Thats awesome for you but your experience isn’t all encompassing.

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

                and his sentiments are?! eh eh……I refuse! Again, whatev!!!

            • ScoutF

              Mine too and I have lived here 8 years and going…no complaints here :)

          • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

            Google “the most racist city in America” and I PROMISE you that you will be reading anecdotes about Boston in the next few seconds.

            • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

              Hun, Boston is a GREAT city!

              • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

                Boston is the epitome liberal racist.

                • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

                  God bless your heart.

            • legitimate_soul

              Agree on Boston’s racism. Jay isn’t making isht up. I also mean no disrespect to anyone’s hometown, but yeah….

        • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

          I’m just saying, for a city that’s only fifty percent white, they do a GREAT job of hiding all of the other ethnicities that live there…..

        • http://uphereoncloud9.wordpress.com Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

          Historically Boston has had issues with their black athletes. The BoSox were one of the last teams to integrate back in the day. (Almost 10 years after Jackie Robinson.) Jim Rice, Bill Russel, and other black athletes have spoken to this fact. Hell, Larry Bird and Ted Williams who are white as hell have commented on how chippy Boston could be. Boston is a great city but you cannot ignore its racist past with everyday black folks and those who play sports there.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            bill russell once had some people break into his house and take a shit on his bed.

            • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

              Sorry for him, BUT Boston is where it’s at!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

        WORD. Gospel. All of this is correct. A general manager makes a move and everyone’s cool with it, but the second a Black player decides to have any input into what he wants to do with his career, the media loses their mind. The player is then considered selfish, a diva, a locker room cancer, only cares about money and anything else under the sun.

        • Beautifullyhuman

          Amen!

        • http://www.facebook.com/RandGAreZombies The Other Jerome

          Oh come on. So f*cking over your small market home town that literally blew you for the first 5 years of your career and leaving them so high and dry that they could have lost their whole team had nothing to do with it?

          Give me a break. He’s a big boy, he can take it. And yes i’m rooting for the Heat. What happened to Seattle was criminal!

          • DQ

            He f#cked over the small town team? By doing what? Taking them to the finals? Selling out the arena game after game, year after year? The Cavalies got WAY more from LeBron than LeBron EVER got from playing in Cleveland. Like it’s not even close.

            And how did Cleveland show him that they were serious about winning a championship? What big name free agent did they EVER sign while he was there?

            • http://www.facebook.com/RandGAreZombies The Other Jerome

              “The Cavalies got WAY more from LeBron than LeBron EVER got from playing in Cleveland.”

              Come on, the way he left was shady. They are a small market team. You can’t do that to a small market team. He could have killed basketball in Cleveland. And he would have too if David Stern hadn’t rigged the draft for them!

              • DQ

                You know what? I think 50% of the rest of my responses today are going to be:
                Dejuan Wagner.

                I’m just gonna say the dudes name and walk away each time someone talks about or implies there should be loyalty between a franchise and a player, particularly a home town product.

                • http://www.twitter.com/Think2Inspire Think2Inspire

                  *slow clap* Your comments are on point today and Dajuan Wagner proves that these players have got to watch their backs (and colons) because noone else is. Seriously when I saw his name I had that “isn’t he dead?” moment.

                  • Justmetheguy

                    I know who DeJuan Wagner is. I remember him for sure, but I don’t understand what his significance is here? What the hell happened to him? I missed that point because I don’t know his story after he left Memphis. Did an NBA franchise do him dirty or what?

                    • Sharelle

                      The Cavs dropped Wagner after he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005. He hasn’t played in the league since.

                    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                      his point is that these franchises (and some fans) scream “loyalty” but will drop an injured or non-producing player quicker than a crackhead’s heartbeat

            • Justmetheguy

              ” The Cavalies got WAY more from LeBron than LeBron EVER got from playing in Cleveland. Like it’s not even close.

              And how did Cleveland show him that they were serious about winning a championship? What big name free agent did they EVER sign while he was there?”

              Preach brotha! Preach! Of all the things I don’t like about Lebron, his decision to leave Cleveland is NOT on the list. In fact it’s more reason for me to have respect for him. F*ck that martyr sh*t. He wasn’t tryna be sittin around playin wit the wack @ss Cavaliers at age 34 wit bad knees and no rings. That man works too hard for that, I don’t blame him

              • DQ

                But not only that JMTG, Bron could have stayed in Cleveland 8 more years, wore out his knees not winning anything, and not 1 of these people crying “loyalty” would care if James got waived or traded (as he certainly would have been one day)

                I don’t know how old you all are, but do you all remember what Dominique Wilkins was to the Atlanta Hawks? I think the word that use to describe it is “icon”. Still, do you remember he got traded to the graveyard of Franchises (at that time) the Los Angeles Clippers after giving Atlanta 12 years? Excuse me, 11.5 years, they traded him mid season… while the team was in FIRST in their conference. There’s some loyalty for you.

                • Justmetheguy

                  Excellent point man. Those fans are full of it. They’re out for their own self interests just like Lebron, just like Dan Gilbert, just like you and I. I just hate when ppl fake it and act like it’s something deeper involved. Just stop it!

                  And I couldn’t respond upthread but the DeJuan Wagner story was f*cked up. I didn’t know that was what happened to him. That used to be one of my favorite players too. It’s not surprising though. These owners are loyal to ONE thing MONEY. It’s only about loyalty when they have no more leverage or control over a situation. Again, f*ck that martyr sh*t

                • jody riley

                  Sorry bro. But dominque got traded for testifying in the Fred Tocars case. The DA of ATlanta at the time. So did Deion. look it up

          • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

            He gave them 7 years and they never built a team around him. Who was his best teammate there? Mo Williams? Varejao? Shaq? Jamison? Boozer? Big Z? Ain’t like ANYONE was ever coming to Cleveland either. The Cavaliers did *almost* as bad a job of building around a player as 76ers with Iverson. Okay, not almost because nothing was that bad.

            • http://www.facebook.com/RandGAreZombies The Other Jerome

              Man the problem was Lebron had no clue how to win. It looks like he does now, but he has D-Wade.

              Lebron had to have a winners mentality in order for them to build a winner around him in a smaller market. Otherwise you end up doing what they did, dumping a bunch of role players on him and seeing which one sticks.

              I’ll tell you this right now, D-Wade could have won in Cleveland! But Lebron was too f*cking sometimey during those years. Now, just last weekend he looks better. We’ll see if it lasts.

              • DQ

                ****Lebron had to have a winners mentality in order for them to build a winner around him in a smaller market. Otherwise you end up doing what they did, dumping a bunch of role players on him and seeing which one sticks.****

                This is unintentionally hilarious.

                • http://www.facebook.com/RandGAreZombies The Other Jerome

                  No clue what that means… unless you’re trying to say im 100% correct ^_^

              • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

                I call bull$hit on Dwayne Wade being able to win in Cleveland. Wade BARELY won one championship when Shaquille Oneal was still THE best player in the game. I know that Shaq was beginning to slow, and Wade was the MVP of that Finals, but Shaq was still dominating in the paint back then. When he got to Cleveland he was pretty much done. Lebron never had anyone else close to that level on his Cleveland team.

                • http://www.facebook.com/RandGAreZombies The Other Jerome

                  I Wouldn’t say barely able to win in Cleveland. I guess i’m trying to say D-Wade knew what it took to win. Lebron didn’t. I think to win in a market that size, your star has to know what it takes, then they can build around you. At the time LBJ wouldn’t even take the big shots in tight games. How are you supposed to build a squad in a small market if your highest paid player wants to defer to someone else in crunch-time. You can’t. All your moneys tied up in Lebron.
                  You switch LBJ with D-Wade during that finals year for Cleveland and they don’t get ran in that series. Tell me i’m lying!

                  • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

                    So…you’re mad at Lebron for not being able to be a proper GM?!?! Do you understand how out of control that is? *throws hands in air*

                    I’m sorry, but in seven seasons, there were few, if ANY proper moves made to build a proper team around him. They didn’t need superstars, just some young talent that he can dish the ball to and are willing to put the work in. That never happened. So he puts in herculean efforts, and then y’all get snarky when he fails to close. Unbelievable.

                    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

                      In Cleveland’s partial defense, plan A with the talent went up in smoke. When your second option (DeJuan Wagner) has to retire due to some rare intestinal ailment and your third and fourth options (Darius Miles and Ricky Davis) both manage to jack up their knees, that isn’t management’s fault. It was Plans B through F that were all jacked up.

                  • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                    “You switch LBJ with D-Wade during that finals year for Cleveland and they don’t get ran in that series. Tell me i’m lying!”

                    you switch lebron for d-wade and that team doesnt even make the playoffs, lol. i think this is one of my biggest issues with some of the anti-lebron narrative. it discounts his value — which is unsurpassed — because of a few of his faults. there’s no other player in the league that would have even taken that shitty ass cavs team to the playoffs, and he took them to the finals. yes, he lost once he got there, but no one else currently in the league would have even got them there

                    • Justmetheguy

                      +1 Champ- I read that post and was like “are you serious?”

                      That team had NO BUSINESS being in the finals. Detroit was still Detroit back then too. I’m a fan of Dwayne Wade, but nah homie. You’re lyin. He wouldn’t have had nearly the same impact. Can’t co-sign that.

                  • demondog06

                    TOJ said “You switch LBJ with D-Wade during that finals year for Cleveland and they don’t get ran in that series. Tell me i’m lying!”

                    you’re lying!

                    1.D- wade and the heat had to intentionally tank a season 2 get the second pick in the draft AND get shaq at the end of his prime to get a ring.

                    2. that heat team that faced the spurs in the finals was a mediocre team. one man cannot win a ring. jordan didn’t do it, hell even wilt couldn’t win a ring by himself in. today’s league.

                    whats tragic is tha my pistons would have put up a better challange to the spurs.
                    and the only reason Cleavland beat us is because sheed, tay, and billups was playing injured because of punk a$$ flip saunders ran them into the dirt.

                    • demondog06

                      “that heat team that faced the spurs in the finals was a ”

                      oops! i mean that “cavs” team

            • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

              I’m salty Varejao would rather spend his time modeling for Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding than work on his game. My 2cs

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

                I just googled this vajajay dude, and I’m literally on the floor *cryingggggggg*

                @ IAYP—————->for the love of my ribshack stop the motherloving madness!!!

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                “I’m salty Varejao would rather spend his time modeling for Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding than work on his game. My 2cs”

                lol, varejao does actually put in work, though. any team would love to have dude

                • Justmetheguy

                  Agreed. He’s a good role player (not all of them are good). Champ one of these rare days when you choose to do another sports topic you should talk about the value of role players and how they’re not all created equal. Just look at what Fisher brought to the Thunder (after doing the same thing with the Lakers for so long).

          • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

            His FANS supported him. The organization didn’t. Why can’t people get that?!

            • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

              So why did Lebron do the fans dirty. He could have said he had an issue with the organization, but he never came out. He still hasn’t come out and said much other than snarky tweets. He could have leveled with the fans, but chose not to. That’s on him.

              • Justmetheguy

                @ Todd- I understand that angle, but let’s just be real. He would’ve been d*mned if he did and d*mned if he didn’t in that situation. He would’ve looked like a bitter and angry pro athlete who’s ungrateful and throws the man who pays him millions under the bus if he told fans that the owner was to blame. Actually his choice NOT to do that was one of the few decisions that he made that you could argue “had class” (I hate that term for other reasons but I won’t get into that today). He just couldn’t win in that situation. He definitely could’ve handled it a lot better than he did, but there was no way for him to go without offending someone. He just didn’t have to pick the option that offended THE MOST people which he did lol. But still I think people are overreacting. I can see a lot that he did wrong, but it ain’t as deep as some ppl are making it out to be.

                • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

                  Sometimes, you have to just be honest with people. Instead of all of America being pissed with him for years, he would have had people in Cleveland tight for about a month. That’s Lebron’s biggest issue to me. He hasn’t figured out that sometimes, you have to be a bit of a jerk for the greater good. He’s too busy trying to be everyone’s best friend. For someone as big as he is, he comes off a bit of a chicken.

                  • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

                    I agree with you that he should have leveled with the fans. But I also wish that people wouldn’t just accept the narrative the ESPN/the NBA feeds them. Granted, me not being from the greater Cleveland area gives me greater removal from the situation, but how people can’t understand from an objective stand point why the move was the best option for him baffles me.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                “He still hasn’t come out and said much other than snarky tweets”

                yes he has. repeatedly.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        And I understand that the “Decision” and the ensuing pep rally was obnoxious but come on… these are young black men in their 20′s who grew up not having sh*t, WE of all people should understand and forgive them their exuberance when they feel like they’ve achieved something. It just doesnt’ make sense to me.

        I call shenanigans on this remark. Lebron James is far from the first brother who grew up struggling in the past 20 years to get a big free agent deal. No one even attempted to pull off the same stunt. No one. I know there are some racial undertones, but I also know a lot of brothers I know are thinking the same thing. As I read around the time of the Decision, you have the right to leave your girlfriend, but you don’t have the right to broadcast it on Jumbotron while making out with the new chick.

      • BarryL

        People forgot, the Celtics did NOT do the same exact thing as the Miami Heat. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were TRADED to boston at separte time. Boston gave up a lot to get both of those players, hence a small part of the reason the wolves and the Thunder(was supersonics) have good young talent. Nothing like how Lebron got to Miami.

        • Marshal

          As a Cleveland Native, ALL of the upthread is why Cleveland has Legit Beef over LBJ, the Heat and Fair-Weather Fandom. Fact is LeBron and his “Management got Full Imput on Trades, Draft Picks, and ANY Entitlements they asked for (club seats, jet service, VIP treatment, etc). Miami’s Squad Last Year and Now are Similar to the 2009-10 Cavs, if not Worse. To say the Cavs, who won 60+ games and had #1 seeding two Straight Years was Garbage is BS, and the fault on WHY James and Co. didn’t get over the hump in Cleveland is on James for his Carmelo-Iso play and Mike “I Copied Popovich” Brown.

          LeBron hadn’t shown Leadership for others like Kidd, Nash, Amare, Deron Williams or anyone else to Leave their teams to Join Him and that’s WHY Cleveland didn’t get Better Players; the $$$$$$$$$ was Always There. I can’t begin to tell you how Shitty Downtown was Financially outside the Q, with Empty Store fronts from the center of town leading outwards, budgets in the red that my Granddad, a Sanitation Worker, worked til he Just Retired Last Year at 78 because the city couldn’t give him his Guaranteed Retirement Pension on schedule, and so on. Ask ANY Cleveland Resident that the Cavs and LeBron put Cleveland back on the map, something the Browns and Indians USED to do, but City workers and residents Paid in Taxes and Low-Wage and Lost Jobs in exchange.

          The Decision was worse than Art Modell taking the Browns to Baltimore, and everybody Not Cleveland went back to the Cleveland Jokes, Jesse Jackson’s “runaway Slave” BS, disregarding the 5 straight trips in the postseason, Never losing in the 1st Round and what not; and No One had a Clue of what REALLY was happening. James was Selfish in High School, Selfish as a Cav, and STILL Selfish as a Heat. That Guy hasn’t changed a Damn Thing except when he WAS the Man he was a Spoiled Dictator who QUIT when confronted. All the “Not 1,2,3,4…..” Title promises are Crap, when he Promised Cleveland a Title as well (the radio interview he did exists, look that up). Yes, LeBron James is a Great Player, but to say he’s God is Ridiculous

          • leeward

            Thank you for that. It seems that people here have a selective memory regarding this man.

            • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

              Bull$hit. Whoever said that he was a God?? Seriously how old are you people?

            • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

              Bull$hit. Whoever said that he was a God?? Seriously how old are you people?

          • Omar

            It is understandable for REAL Cleveland fans to be upset, but the rest of these people are full of it. Lebron was neither the first or last athlete to do something obnoxious and it was frankly in his best interest to leave. First of all the Cavs were clearly a mediocre set of guys with one great player, if you don’t believe that you weren’t paying attention to the season after he left. Second the Cavs are for the most part a badly managed franchise who got lucky in the 03 draft; and saying that they gave Lebron everything he wanted is proof (hopefully that is changing if Byron Scott has more input). I dare you to name me a 21 yr old GM, I’ll wait… I knew it was the beginning of the end when they let Carlos Boozer roll up out of there, but y’all mad at him too instead of the management making poor decisions. You would think they would’ve learned from A.I. and the Sixers that you don’t give a player that much power, because they don’t always have the right perspective. Micheal Jordan didn’t like the triangle offense at first but it turned out to be one of the best things for him.

            Also there is no way that the old Cleveland team is as good as this Miami team, maybe the roll players on both were mediocre but there is no one on the Cleveland teams that compare to Wade or Bosh. You also realize that none of the people you named except Jason Kidd won anything right, and he left the Nets high and dry.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were TRADED to boston at separte time.”

          you think ray and k.g. had no input about where they were going? you really believe that there was no “hey, i think i might let them trade me to boston. wanna roll with me?” conversations behind the scenes?

          • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

            Understood, but it wasn’t like the Wolves and Thunder organizations were left high and dry. Both teams got the pieces to rebuild out of that deal. All Cleveland got was some hard d*ck and bubble gum, and guess what? Lebron was all out of bubble gum.

            • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

              Shout out to the Children of the Corn!

      • COASB

        Agree. Boston is THE most racist city in the country.

      • RG

        I understand your point about young black athletes and you’ll get know pushback from me on that point, but from a basketball perspective I have to disagree with you. People pull out the Celtics Big Three analogy all the time as justification for The Heat Triumverent, but it is entirely different. Only other athletes would understand the nuances. Yes, KG/Allen/Pierce teamed up, but the difference is that LBJ and Wade teaming up just inherently felt wrong. They were two of the top three players in the league when they came together. KG/Allen/Pierce were on the downslope of their careers (although still highly productive). Lebron was supposed to be competing against D Wade. I can’t see Magic teaming up with Bird. Or MJ with Clyde/Hakeem/Barkley/Etc. I just can’t see it.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “…Clyde/Hakeem/Barkley/”

          it’s funny that you mentioned three guys who all ended up playing with the rockets. anyway, I think something people are missing in the “lebron and wade are supposed to be rivals” conversation is that I really don’t think Lebron considered D.Wade to be a rival. if you look at their history, lebron always outplayed d.wade whenever they played against each other, and they don’t play the same position. i (obviously) can’t go into his head, but it seems like he considered kobe, durant, and melo to be more natural rivals, not wade.

          • RG

            At the end of their careers, but I see your point. It was unintentional. Truth be told, I couldn’t think of a legitimate rival for MJ. I feel where you’re coming from, but they SHOULD have been rivals…or at least competitors. I understand why he did it, but I don’t approve as a former hooper. Honestly though, my generation was the beginning of the end with this team up sh*t. AAU has changed the game. These cats are still trying to get their AAU on. That’s fine, but LBJ will never go into my GOAT conversation because of teaming up with Wade in MIA. I don’t hate him. I’m just dissapointed because he had the chance to really leave a mark and eclipse MJ, but as time went on I see he’s less MJ/Magic and more Dr. J…and that’s ok too..still HOF worthy. There’s only one GOAT…”and with the the 3rd pick, I made the Earth sick, MJ…fadeaway, perfect…”

            • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

              Jordan, Pippen, Rodman.

              • Justmetheguy

                But Rodman couldn’t SCORE to save his life though. He was an ELITE role player though. Possibly the best rebounder to ever play the game (definitely the best under 7 feet). I see your point though. Jordan had a helluva team.

      • onyx lady

        Two of the owners of the Celtics franchise are black. Historically Boston is a racist city, yes. But are you to hate all of the southern states because slavery took place there? You have to consider them for who they are and what they stand for now…not who they were in the past.

      • http://www.keepingbusyjt.com Jackie @KeepingBusyJT

        That is EXACTLY WHY I’m a Lebron Fan. The Brother came from nothing and not only did he do something about it, he continued to Do Something About It. I’m surrounded by Good and even Great Basketball Players in the South who would looooove that opportunity. I root for him, as I would for them. Every Team “builds” a winning team and Kudos to them for Building it Themselves.

        Bottom Line … End of the Day … When it’s All Said and Done …. They’re STILL Millionaires and most of us jaw jacking are probably not and won’t ever be, but the at the least …. Thank God, he’s one less man/brother/son locked up, on drugs, dead beat dad, etc …

        Go Heat!!

    • DQ

      At this point, the LeBron haters are more repugnant than the so called “Decision” ever was.

      • Justmetheguy

        Right! I mean we get it. The Decision was a bad idea. It was in bad taste and made him look silly and self-absorbed in retrospect. But c’mon man, it wasn’t no d*mn capital offense. It was more a product of him reveling in his star power and really buying into his own hype and NONE of his close friends or relatives putting him in check. His problem was hanging around too many yes men that think every creative idea he ever has is a good one. Besides the man came back later and finally admitted that it was a bad idea and he would’ve done things differently if given another chance. What more do yall want from the man? I mean, I get it if you’re not rooting for him, but the way some people spit hate while rooting against him is much worse than the decision EVER was

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          It was more a product of him reveling in his star power and really buying into his own hype and NONE of his close friends or relatives putting him in check. His problem was hanging around too many yes men that think every creative idea he ever has is a good one.

          I definitely agree with this. I know that whole thing took more than a day or two to put together. How no one on his team didn’t have the heart to say “yo, dude, fall back. This whole thing is going to cost you a LOT of money and respect in the long run”? I seriously wonder who he keeps around him that none of them has any sense. You expect your fam to talk you off the ledge, but in Lebron’s case, they not only let him jump, but cheered him on as he jumped!

          • Justmetheguy

            @ Todd- Exactly smdh

          • whostolethesoul1

            @todd

            +8000, apparently they were all busy. He needs a mature voice, especially one looking out for his brand, a 20+ yr plan and a special “hands-off handler” for his mother. He could have made a fan-friendly stance and still bolted w/respect in tact. Nobody cared for management in Cleveland, but he d*mn near forced people to side w/THEM.

          • kenyadigit

            Didn’t he donate millions of dollars from the Decision to charity? Not saying that makes it ok but it does sort of make it seem less a$$holeish

            • http://www.twitter.com/Think2Inspire Think2Inspire

              Yes that money went to the Boys ad Girls club and other organizations.

            • veryaveragebrotha

              That DOES make it ok. A bunch of self righteous (probably obese) people’s feelings were hurt so that millions could go to charity…..he should do it again.

              • DQ

                LOL

            • Nikki

              I don’t think that makes it ok because he could have donated the money without the circus. It’s an issue of character. He didn’t even have the decency to let Cleveland know that he was leaving in private after all those years. That’s not how you quit a job. What he did was equivalent to jumping up on a table telling everyone to kiss your a** and then exiting stage left. It’s classless and someone in his camp should have told him so. And if they did and he still chose the clown route then he deserves all the hatred, ridicule, and embarrassment of losing two years in a row in the Finals. Go KD!

    • BeatTheHeat

      The Miami Heat owners also held Miami hostage for a new stadium, except Miami paid the ransom: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/subhash-kateel/ill-root-for-the-heat-but_b_1590348.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

      I don’t hate LeBron because he buckles under pressure, I hate him because he ran up under Wade’s skirt, in the prime of his career, thinking he was going to ride those coat tails to an easy championship. There were several competitive teams for him to choose between without hiding behind a Championship-MVP-potential-Hall-of-Famer. He’s extremely talented and a good guy (maybe. we know him about as well as we knew Tiger Woods) but he doesn’t have the heart of a leader. Not 5… not 6… not 7! I used to be a fan, maybe I’m just upset because he let me down and didn’t materialize into the GOAT like we all thought he would. He’s just another above average player that wants a ring any way he can get it. I’ll go back to my problems now

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    White people who are aggressively anti-Lebron, I can pretty much bet that they’re pretty racist. I’m not down with the “Good Negro” v “Bad Negro” narrative that always sets up the good one as an agent of white America and the bad one as the embodiment of Black America. I hate everything about Frazier v Ali rivalry outside the actual bouts for example.

    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

      I’m anti Lebron, VERY-highly so.

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

        English is my first language. :)

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      Right, I’m also shocked that NOBODY recognizes how fast the whole consensus on LBJ switched. I remember when he first entered the league ALLL anyone could talk about was how unselfish and humble he was. He was such a good, sweet kid was all that you heard. That was part of the reason why I wasn’t a LBJ fan back then. Then all of sudden, almost overnight, he’s arrogant and bullheaded, and uncoachable… like what?!? We gonna pretend like public opinion on the kid didn’t just do a 180 flip in the matter of a few weeks?!

      And the sad part is that we don’t know WHO he is really. None of us know him personally and we form these half-a$$ed opinions that we’re SOOO sure we’re right about. Maybe he was an a$$hole when they were saying he was a good kid, or maybe he is a great guy and the media is painting him as an egomaniac now. Point is… We. Dont. Know. Thats why I’ve always been a Kobe fan, because IDGAF about who he is as a person. I don’t want to have a f*cking dinner date with him, I want to watch him wreck shop on the hardwood and thats all that matters to me.

      • b sweet

        Speak on it Jay

      • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

        Agreed. I don’t understand why people can’t separate the athlete from the person. Like, I personally hate Kobe as a personality, but I won’t deny his talent. Anti-Lebron peeps, because they hate him, will go so far as to claim that he’s overrated, which is bananas. Like, the dude averages thirty points a game, and he’s overrated? What in the world?!

        • Justmetheguy

          I agree Shamira. It’s not that he’s overrated, it’s just that ESPN revels in the things he can do and the workload he regularly takes on, so when he doesn’t win championships and when he doesn’t make game winners and dominate in the 4th quarter it makes all the hype ESPN gives him look like it was exaggerated. But NOBODY in the history of the league does more in total for his team than Lebron does on the regular. In fact, I don’t think it’s close. He’s just an easy target for the “overrated” label because he has a clear flaw in his game and his personality and style of play don’t bode well for the heavily romanticized closing minutes of a game. Smh

          • Justmetheguy

            With all that being said though, some of his intangibles are definitely mediocre at best and flat out suspect sometimes. If the vitriol he received last year when “the decision” and its after effects was still fresh wasn’t enough to motivate him to step on the throats of his haters last year and make em kiss the ring then I don’t know about his instinct as a competitor (the proverbial killer instinct). I’m not saying this can’t improve but he’s gotta prove that he has it CONSISTENTLY at this point or his legacy will go down as never quite coming up big when his team needed him most. He’s gotta have more performances like game 6 of the Celtics series. He can earn my utmost respect by going off and killing the dragon slayers (aka the Thunder) in this series though. Cause them boys EARNED the right to be in the Finals. NO superstar on the west was hurt (ie Derrick Rose) and the Thunder had to play ALL the toughest and most accomplished teams. So if Lebron can lead his team to victory against them then even his critics are gonna have to give props and shut the hell up

            • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

              I think he’s really working on that so-called killer instinct. I also think thats a valid thing to criticize him for. My biggest issue really lies with people who, because of their dislike for Lebron flat out lie about his abilities. Like, I saw people go in on him game 6 because he didnt play out the rest of the 4th q , like it wasnt garbage time! I do think the last season forced him to do a lot of growing up, and I think he clearly wants it more this time around. Now, I dont know if his hunger will overcome the Westbrook-Durant one-two punch, but if it does, I’m gonna need anyone to shut ALL the way up.

              • Justmetheguy

                Right! They’d HAVE to shutup. If not they’d lose ALL credibility cause the Thunder are the clear favorites. That’s a ridiculous claim. Nobody that actually watches basketball and knows what they’re talking about would make that stupid argument. He dominated the whole game so he earned the right to rest in the 4th quarter. Another slightly less ridiculous argument I heard was that Game 6 went the way it did because the Celtics couldn’t make shots. R u serious?! That happens to teams all the time, and more often than not defense has a lot to do with it. The Heat just played focused and Lebron locked in and got in the zone. Plus when he has a bad game these same critics don’t assert that “Lebron just couldn’t make shots today, that’s all. It happens.” Instead they start talkin about how un-clutch and overrated he is. Sports fans are proof of how ridiculous, shallow, and fickle a lot of people’s opinions usually are. (and confirmation bias at its worst) We’re so quick to rush to a judgment and this is something I’m currently working ARDUOUSLY to improve about myself, so i ain’t claiming to be better than anyone but it’s just obvious when others are doing it…

                • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

                  I mean, the commentating on the Boston series as a whole was ridiculous. End of game 1 it was “the Celtics are over, they’re done” – end of game 4 it was “the Heat are being abused by Garnett.” The playoffs make everyone act like prisoners of the moment, its out of control.

      • legitimate_soul

        “Thats why I’ve always been a Kobe fan, because IDGAF about who he is as a person. I don’t want to have a f*cking dinner date with him, I want to watch him wreck shop on the hardwood and thats all that matters to me.”

        ^Exactly!

    • DQ

      ****White people who are aggressively anti-Lebron, I can pretty much bet that they’re pretty racist****

      And they do not hide it well AT ALL.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      That works except for one thing: ain’t too many Negroes outside of South Florida trying to claim Lebron. Yeesh, not everything is racial. Some things are just BS.

      • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

        Referencing media narrative. Not necessarily those two. There hasn’t been a talented and political athlete in generations. The closest would be Allen Iverson for me, but that’s more because who he was and what he represented moreso than any of his specific politics (if he has any). That’s a tangent though.

    • http://uphereoncloud9.wordpress.com Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

      “I hate everything about Frazier v Ali rivalry outside the actual bouts for example.”

      No good came from the out of the ring activity.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “White people who are aggressively anti-Lebron, I can pretty much bet that they’re pretty racist”

      i wouldn’t say they’re racist, but i do think the anger is at least partially race-based. it’s the same as the white sports fan who claims to love basketball but hate the NBA

  • Joey A

    Been rooting for the man since he got the University of Phoenix some capital. When he decided to make his Pimp(NIKE) know that he was going to be there bottom b!t#h straight out the gate I decided that he was going to be the Sports role model for my son and all the kids brought up harshly in Black Society. I applaud him and his team for showing the legal way to get Cake Cake Cake!

    P.S. 1st!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      not first, but good comment, though

  • IncompleteSage

    “Rooting against” seems so active the way it is portrayed here. I don’t think of the downfall or failure and when I speak I don’t say “I want Lebron to fail for reasons”. I simply watch and make shallow statements to prod those I watch with. Whatever I comment on is completely subject to the flicker of my tongue.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      there is a very active anti-lebron movement, though. you may not be a part of it, but it does exist.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    “OKC represents everything right with sports”

    Seattle frowns upon this statement

    • TheRealestLeo

      I see what you did there. lol.

      +4

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Hey, if Seattle will take this one for the good of America, I’ll definitely lobby for them to get a team back. Heck, I would have done it anyway, since it sucks that a great hoops town lost their team to a football state.

  • God El

    Rooting against LeBron is just something to do. A lot of things people do are pointless. Buying expensive cars and clothes to impress people you don’t like is pointless. In sports, like in movies, there must be an antagonist and a protagonist. LeBron doesn’t care which actor he plays as long as they pay him. Meanwhile, we as fans are entertained. Both sides win. This isn’t philosophical, it’s human nature. We take sides. With that being said, Go Thunder!!!

    • DQ

      True some people just take sides… for them it’s not that serious. But some people don’t just take sides, they take positions, like an army taking a field. For them it’s war, and really it’s entirely unwarranted.

    • Justmetheguy

      ” In sports, like in movies, there must be an antagonist and a protagonist. LeBron doesn’t care which actor he plays as long as they pay him.”

      Yeah, but “must” is a strong word. The media does seem to feel that way, but those of us who would be thoroughly entertained anyway think it’s wack and we get tired of this same trope. Also I think Lebron cares less now than he did, but unfortunately for him, when this all went down he did care which actor he played. He definitely wanted to be the good guy and it worked against him because he was cast as the villain and was quite uncomfortable and self-conscious in that role. That’s why I felt more sympathy for him than anger, because from day one I knew he wasn’t built like that. He wasn’t about the villain life. Kobe seems to be quite smug and cozy with that role though lol

  • b sweet

    Today’s my Birthday!!!!!!

    • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

      HAPPY BORN DAY!

      • b sweet

        Thanks Malik!!

    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

      Happy Birthday girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl!!!!!

      Ooooooooooooweeeeeeeeeee!!! Tonite is the night you just hump hump hump the locked brothers from yesterday!!!!!!!

      • b sweet

        Tonight’s the night Mami!!!! What are we drinking tonight-margaritas and champagne or are we switching it up?

        • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

          hun it’s your birthday tonight imma let you choose, watchu wanna drank?!

          • b sweet

            Champagne!!!!!

            • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

              *clink clink*

              Races you to the dance floor, to grind to “Murder She Wrote” -Chaka Demus & Pliers (plies?!)

              • Justmetheguy

                Murder she wrote is the JAM! Happy birthday b-sweet. Save me some champagne too!

                • b sweet

                  Thanks!!!
                  *leaves dance floor to hand JMTG a glass of champagne and some cognac*

                • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

                  Impossible to not dance to.

                  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

                    mmmmh mmmmh!!! dance?! GRIND.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      Happy Birthday!

      • b sweet

        Thank you Jay!

    • nillalatte

      A reason to make a drink and celebrate! Thanks… oh, and have a happy and blessed day! lol

      • b sweet

        Thanks!! *hands nilla a glass of champagne*

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

        QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQueeeeeeen!!!

        Please join us in the ensuing madness of grinding, hollering and OBJECTIFYING at the same DAMN time APPRECIATING locked men on the dance-floor

      • Meisarebel

        Nilla’s post comes from both of us. We opted for cards from our household as opposed to individual cards, however, I will still greet you with my special HB2U.

        So drink and be merry!

        • MJoy

          :)

          I don’t know why I like couples so much!

    • Beautifullyhuman

      Happy B-Day! It really is Gemini season in VSB land…

      • b sweet

        Thanks BH!

    • Double_Dizze

      Happy Born Day!!! To quote Drake…”take a shot for me”…

      • b sweet

        Thanks boo!!
        Take a shot with me ;)

    • TheRealestLeo

      Happy Birthday! =)

      • b sweet

        Thanks Leo!! :)

    • That Ugly Kid

      A Capricorn wishes you a Happy Birfday. Rejoice.

      • b sweet

        A capricorn!! Lawd have mercy my BF is a Cap-y’all some rigid muthaf……as! Love y’all though
        Thank you!

        • That Ugly Kid

          Hol’ up! I am NOT your BF. Cuz I’m 100% sure I have the bigger peen. Sooo, yea. Hear that “whooshing” sound? That’s your argument getting tossed out the window on the 176th floor! BAM!

          But…congrats and sh*t. One year closer to dying and whatnot…

          • b sweet

            LMAO!!! Awwwww, that’s the nicest bday wish I’ve ever gotten!!
            Oh, I’m 100% certain you have the bigger peen, considering she’s a woman. I was referring to my best friend,not my boyfriend.
            I thought you’d go a different direction with that rigid comment, but you were still in the neighborhood, so…

    • http://www.twitter.com/Think2Inspire Think2Inspire

      Happy Birthday b sweet!

      *stuffs ram shaped confetti into pocket andd waits for Aries Season*

      • b sweet

        Come on-give me that glitter!!
        *Goes in T2I’s pockets and snatches a handful*

    • Keisha

      Happy Birthday!!! :-)

      • b sweet

        Thanks Keisha!!

    • http://taterwithak.blogspot.com K. Marie

      Feliz Cumpleanos!!!!!!

      • b sweet

        Gracias k.marie!!

    • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

      Happy Birthday Gemini! Geminis are AWESOME!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      may your birthday be a very masculine birthday and shit

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      *throws glitter and sparkles*

      Happy B-Day!

    • DQ

      HBD, hope you have a grand day.

  • eye(c)ande

    Well, I’m from OKC so I live and die 405. All day, err’day. Ridin round and gettin it. (i.e. a nat’l championship). No problem. Outside of that, my issues with Lebron are 1) The Decision was a very Diva Dude move (although idk if that was his brainchild). 2) He’s an all-time great athlete that seems to lack some intangible. Perhaps a passion for the game of basketball. I’m not sure. All of the potential but something is…missing.

    • Double_Dizze

      Lebron reminds me of Kobe, minus the rings. Supreme basketball ability, supremely arrogant/unlikable/smug/odd (pick one) personality. That’s what it boils down to in my book. I’m a ride or die Mavs fan, but I think this is OKC’s year. Durant will be Superman to Lebron’s Bizarro. They’re both great and powerful players, but one of them is flawed and has some things backwards.

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

        @ D_D,

        thank you for your succinct comment on LeBron! Pretty much…

        • Double_Dizze

          No problem. I’m actually glad to see this topic addressed here. I don’t even hate Lebron…I just hate to see that he hasn’t matured much since his years in Cleveland. Should the Heat not win it this year, I foresee much friction between him and his fellow Diva Dude (my favorite VSB term) Dwayne Wade. They’ve already stopped doing those tag-team post-game press conferences…next thing you know, they’ll be refusing to share a locker room. And that’s not good, because Bosh hates when Mom and Dad don’t get along. It makes him cry.

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

            LMAO!!!ohhhhhh miiiii gosh, say warrrr now. Bosh’s parents are Bron and Wade?!
            iCan’t with you!!!! hehehehehehehe

            • Double_Dizze

              Don’t act like you didn’t see Wade in those pink skinny jeans or slacks, or that time he and Lebron carried purses through the tunnel. There’s a thin line between fashion and foolishness, and those two play hopscotch with it on the regular.

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

                say warrrrr now?! I’m a STAN for Celtics, so all this is news to me…i could care less for them Heats and misses.

          • Justmetheguy

            ” I just hate to see that he hasn’t matured much since his years in Cleveland. ”

            That’s how I feel. I really do want him to do better but I gave up “rooting for him” and I don’t expect him to mature much anymore.

            • Double_Dizze

              You know what else messed up his perception in the public eye? That dumba$$ ‘Villain’ commercial. I think it was a Nike commercial…he had on the classic all-black trenchcoat/hat combo that the bad guys wore in the old westerns. That just put more fuel on the fire for the people that actually hated him to begin with, and turned others off to him entirely because it came across as arrogant.

              • Breezy

                @D-D: Thank you for that statement about his “maturity” level not increasing. A friend and I were just talking about THE SAME thing and not to mention the whole “diva dude” thing that he and Wade have going on….it irks me to no end.

                Did you guys see those two clowns during the post game 7 interview?!?!? Ugggh! LBJ and Wade are too Hollywood for me and I just cant with them

                I love my Boston Celtics and can’t stand the HEAT therefore…LETS GO OKC!

                • http://www.twitter.com/Think2Inspire Think2Inspire

                  Yea, ya’ll really couldn’t stand the Heat ;)

                • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Sweet Passion Fruit

                  @ Breezy Baby,

                  OKKKKKKKKKKK to the CCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!

                  Dwayne Wade, I respect him. That clown ya’ll are expecting to bring you guys a championship-sellout!

          • CB

            Disagree completely! Bron’s demeanor and attitude are nothing like kobe, how you even come up with that…when have you ever seen kobe ride bikes with kids, the heat the only players to speak out about trayvon…so your telling me an hour out of this mans playing career equals to 8 9 years of good the homie has done…dunce cap for you

      • eye(c)ande

        Yes, but even as much as Kobe get’s on my and my ancestors’ nerves, I still think he has that intangible passion for basketball that I believe (at least so far) Lebron is lacking.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          Kobe has killer instinct. He wants to win ABOVE ALL. I believe his will to win is up there with Jordan’s.

          • eye(c)ande

            Exactly. And my logical self will not let my anti-Kobe, anti-Lakers self disagree with this.

          • Beautifullyhuman

            This is true. I’m a born and raised LA baby who was born into Laker Fandom, which I despise because I’m not a Laker fan — I antagonize my fam with each Laker loss — but I can acknowledge the ferociousness and heart of Kobe’s b*tch a**. Dude is a true competitor to the max and has made me suffer through five too many championships. And to make him even more intolerable, I actually work literally less than five minutes walking distance from the house that Kobe built (Staples).

            Blah.

            • Justmetheguy

              ” I antagonize my fam with each Laker loss — but I can acknowledge the ferociousness and heart of Kobe’s b*tch a**. Dude is a true competitor to the max and has made me suffer through five too many championships.”

              Right! Summed it up perfectly. Although it would be 4 for me. I used to be a HUGE Kobe fan back in the day before casual fans really knew who he was. I rooted for the Lakers against the Pacers, but every since then I’ve been rooting against him. Now I don’t care anymore because the teams are more even (and Lebron’s weaknesses have made me appreciate Kobe’s strengths way more), so I no longer feel like he has an unfair advantage (even though his supporting cast is still one of the 4 best in the league). At this point I just want to see the Finals winner have had to REALLY EARN it. That’s all I care about at this point. Whoever wants it the most and puts in the most work should have it. Point blank period.

            • legitimate_soul

              I don’t know Kobe, but I’m a Lakers fan (I was also raised and LA and I been a fan since I was 9 through good times and bad…Magic, Abdul-Jabbar, Worthy, Scott, Sam Perkins, Elgin Campbell, all of it and before Kobe got there). I am not saying all of his actions are on point but during the NBA lockout Kobe did offer loans to fellow players. That was a decent gesture. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sports/nba/lakers/kobe-bryants-great-gesture-lockout-loans-nba-players# I gotta add this because I really feel like this is the overriding point of the post. Be balanced. No one person is any one thing. I prefer other players over Lebron, but I was cheering for the Heat and if he wins I will genuinely be happy for that man.

        • Double_Dizze

          No doubt, I agree with you and Jay. Kobe is a beast on the court, and the only thing on his mind is that W. He’s like Beanie Siegel with his team…they’re going to get down with him, or lay down when he calls them out by name for not performing up to par.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “supremely arrogant/unlikable/smug/odd (pick one) personality”

        what makes him so unlikable, in your opinion?

        • Double_Dizze

          Bear in mind that I don’t have anything personal against the guy, so my opinion of him is just based on how I perceive him, based on his behaviors during games and press conferences. With that said, here’s what makes him unlikable to me…

          The Decision. Yes, this was a few years ago, but the fact that it took dude years to actually open his mouth and say that maybe that wasn’t the best way to handle that announcement tells me that he didn’t see anything wrong with it, but was just paying lip service to the media because his image took a big hit due to the implied arrogance of the whole situation.

          Promising the multiple championships…dude crossed the line from confident to plain cocky. Every athlete wants to compete and believe that their team has a chance to win it all, but his mind to mouth filter could use some tightening.

          Making it a habit to talk about other teams celebrating during the games, when he and his Heat brethren get down with the get down like none other. For this little bit of foolishness, I’ll give him some credit…he’s toned it down quite a bit since the days of Soul Train lines in Cleveland, and I think this little bit of sour grapes complaining is just Wade rubbing off on him.

          Those post-game interviews…you can tell that he doesn’t want to do them after a loss, because the press is undoubtedly going to ask him what he could’ve done better or more of to get his team a W instead of an L. His game is scrutinized more than any player that I’ve ever seen, but a lot of that is because of the hype that’s surrounded him since his school days…and that whole promising multiple championships thing.

          To summarize, he just doesn’t come across as genuine to me. Nothing personal, though.

      • RG

        If you had to describe players in one word it would go like this:
        Money Mike? Winning. All he wanted to do was win. And that’s over-used for a lot of athletes, but not him. He was a stone-cold killer.
        Kobe? Greatness. He’s going to win some, but only because he wants to be considered great. You would also see him shoot his team out of a game; jack three pointers when he should press the issue and get to the paint. He didn’t mind losing a few games if people came away saying ‘Kobe is great; look what happens when he doesn’t shoot. Lebron ? Amaze. I think he just really wants to amaze people. Which is why he used to spend ten minutes before the game throwing underhand, left-hand half-court shots.

        • Justmetheguy

          ” Kobe? Greatness. He’s going to win some, but only because he wants to be considered great. You would also see him shoot his team out of a game; jack three pointers when he should press the issue and get to the paint. ”

          Nods head enthusiastically. Yep. Just like Brett Favre. It’s ALL a part of his legacy

    • JuiceCrewAllStar

      It’s kinda weird, because he shown that intangible before, most memorably in that playoff series against the Pistons to get the Cavs into the finals. It’s like he lost his killer instinct when he got paired up with a more dominant alpha male personality like Wade.

      The thing is, everybody complains about how athletes are greedy and all about the money, and when Lebron made a decision that was based on winning then the tables are turned. I’m pretty ambivalent toward him, but he’s fun to watch when he goes into god mode. Not enough talk about his D when all the talking heads compare him and Durant.

    • DQ

      Sometimes I wonder if people forget how arrogant Jordan was when he was playing, and how much most of us LOVED him for it, or how much criticism he took for being all razzle-dazzle but no championships when he was a young Dunk-enstein.

      I wonder if people forget how Dennis Rodman’s career of shenanagins, was largely overlooked as long as he was winning championships.

      I wonder if people remember how immature and how erratic Kobe was on the floor and how roundly he was criticized for it, before they won a championship.

      I wonder if people will notice that LeBron is attempting to do what only Jordan has done in the past 20 years, win without a dominant low post presence. Taking nothing away from Kobe, but no Shaq, no Gasol, no championships. Shaq was the Finals MVP for the first 3 championships. LeBron doesn’t have a big man to lean on like that, he has to carry the team. Kobe has certainly improved over the years, and the confidence of having been a past champion does matter, he is an assassin on the court no doubt about it, but I’m just asking everyone to look at how he got to be a 5 time champion. It wasn’t just about Kobe’s intangibles

      • Justmetheguy

        ” I wonder if people will notice that LeBron is attempting to do what only Jordan has done in the past 20 years, win without a dominant low post presence. Taking nothing away from Kobe, but no Shaq, no Gasol, no championships. Shaq was the Finals MVP for the first 3 championships. LeBron doesn’t have a big man to lean on like that, he has to carry the team. Kobe has certainly improved over the years, and the confidence of having been a past champion does matter, he is an assassin on the court no doubt about it, but I’m just asking everyone to look at how he got to be a 5 time champion. It wasn’t just about Kobe’s intangibles”

        THANK YOU! This is what I used to argue to Kobe fans ALL THE TIME when they used to tell me how much better he was than Lebron and how comparable he was to Mike. I’m like stop it! Are you serious? lol, I mean you don’t win 5 titles by accident, but he was more like the Scottie on his team. Don’t give me that.

        Plus the point you made about Michael being an @sshole too was a great point that people forget. The two biggest differences are 1) Media was way less prominent then, and he had a great PR team and 2) He knew how to shut his mouth and keep his business private. He didn’t have twitter and didn’t speak with the media unless he had to or unless he was talking about basketball. He just seemed way more mature and focused on basketball than Lebron, but his personality was WAY more disliked by teammates than Lebron’s. Fans liked his personality though because he seemed like the strong silent man’s man so to speak. He was the consummate alpha male in people’s minds. So they let a loooooot of sh*t he did slide. At the end of the day we need to leave our perception of someone’s personality out of the discussion and appreciate them for what they can do on the floor. With all that being said though you don’t have to root for or against Lebron. But yeah, I give the white folks that go too hard in the paint with their Lebron hate the ultimate side eye. They just needed a target sooo bad that it makes you scratch your head…

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          For one, I think the hate on Lebron by some Whites is the same hate directed at the President, rappers and any other ninja with money. I think they hate Lebron because he is Black with money and some juice, the end. If Lebron went broke, they wouldn’t give two f*cks about him.

          The two biggest differences are 1) Media was way less prominent then, and he had a great PR team and 2) He knew how to shut his mouth and keep his business private.

          Agreed! Even with modern media, I think Michael Jordan would have been OK. As much of a jerk as he was a person, he knew how to play his position. Jordan didn’t give a damn if you liked him, so long as he won. Lebron seems to want to be everyone’s friend too much. People respect the former more than the latter.

          • Justmetheguy

            ” Jordan didn’t give a damn if you liked him, so long as he won. Lebron seems to want to be everyone’s friend too much. People respect the former more than the latter.”

            YES! Jordan knew how to play his role with the media but he had that instinctive “well f*ck u then punk!” edge about him when it came to his critics that made him a killer in the clutch and made him more respected even by those that rooted against him. In fact he got a thrill like no other from making his critics look like d*mn idiots lol. When Lebron figures this out it’s a wrap for the league. He seems to be moving slowly in that direction too…

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “He just seemed way more mature and focused on basketball than Lebron”

          “seemed” is an interesting word, because we have no idea how we’d perceive jordan if he came of age in today’s world of 24/7 media, twitter, skip bayless-ass niggas, etc

          • Justmetheguy

            @ Champ- Of course this is all about perception, but honestly you can tell certain things about people’s personality. Lebron courts attention. He has since he came into the league. Nothing wrong with that per se, but now he has no idea how to deal with the other side of that coin. Jordan was NOT a fan of the attention. He may not have hated it, but he was paranoid about/aware of the negatives that come from courting attention. He was ADDICTED to winning. Hence his gambling problem or the infamous stories of not letting friends leave when he couldn’t beat them in billiards. Larry Bird recalls letting Jordan win at pool one night just so he could go home and get some sleep. Lebron doesn’t seem to be nearly as possessed/obsessed with winning. It’s definitely perception, but it definitely comes from years of observation. Doesn’t make it right, but I’m not pullin this stuff outta my @ss either

    • http://taterwithak.blogspot.com K. Marie

      YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!! 405 for life!

  • b sweet

    The hate for Lebron reminds me of when I went to a McCain/Palin rally in the 2008 election. The people there were so anti Obama, the hate was seeping through their pores. I won’t even repeat what the signs said. And I’m looking around thinking, are you here because you support McCain or hate Obama? So sad.

    A sports fan who hates Lebron, I’d love for you to tell me the reasons why.

    • Reason

      Yup, there was columnist who made the same analogy that Lebron haters are the sports version of birthers…”chokers?” And Espn’s Skip Bayless would qualify as Lebron’s Donald Trump. I’m one of those people who naturally recoils from pile-ons; when everybody and their granny pulls out a pitchfork I’m out. And Lebron James haters are on a 15 minute hater clock. America does forgive and there will be a backlash to the backlash. I notice that at least the “professionals” who can’t stand him are now qualifying their “dislike not hate” of him with each commentary. The haters are now at 00:14:25. I said this before Lebron got that beer doused on him after Celtics Game 6 that Lebron James haters are messing with hubris and what will swing people back in his direction, or at the very least away from those who hate him, are those nut jobs who seem to hate him with violent passion. You notice that even Nancy Grace who thought she could go in on Casey Anthony with impunity had people pulling back saying “Whoa, lady calm the eff down!” 00:14:30

    • DQ

      The reasons will be entirely made up and projections. LeBron didn’t do anything personal to people which hasn’t transpired entirely in their minds.

    • http://www.twitter.com/Think2Inspire Think2Inspire

      On twitter I declared hate for LeBron when the Celtics won game 4. But I don’t. I just want the Heat to win and feel like they need to play better as a team. Its always easy to be mad at a star player than Dexter Pittman.

      • Double_Dizze

        What happened to Dexter Pittman? His suspension was only 3 games, but I don’t recall seeing him play during the Heat-Celtics series.

        • http://www.twitter.com/Think2Inspire Think2Inspire

          Lol I’m just saying it is easier for people to hate LeBron James and oter big players than a Dexter Pittman. The one on the court that the media rides is an easier target compared to the one we forgot was on the team.