Monday, June 1, 2009
Gone In A Puff of Chalk
A little "inside baseball" here first.
Sometimes I wake up Sunday morning and write my Monday post early, so I can then enjoy the rest of God's day without worrying about making sure there's a fresh posting here for you loyal readers.
But that post can get stale pretty quickly, depending on the circumstances.
I think I need to amend my LeBron stance regarding his douchebaggy exit from the Eastern Finals on Saturday.
Skipping the media, not so bad. No handshake? Inexcusable. I didn't focus on that enough when I wrote what I did below. I should have. What LeBron showed is just how stubbornly immature this 24-year-old man-beast still is, how gilded in narcissism he remains.
LeBron: "Shaking hands with somebody who just beat me, beat me up. That makes no sense to me."
Except they've been doing it in sports for oh, centuries, I'd guess.
When Dino Cicarrelli can begrudgingly shake the hand of Claude Lemieux who put teammate Kris Draper in the hospital with a crushed face, then LeBron can shake Howard's.
It really is, that simple.
Okay, that said, here was my original take on the deal. I think the saving his teammates some agony part is still partly correct, even though I doubt he did it on purpose.
Enjoy my wrongness....
(Filed Sunday morning, 8:15 a.m.)
Go ahead, rip LeBron James for running home off the playground after the Orlando Magic got done kicking his team's ass.
It's easy. It's fun. Makes you sound tough.
Let me offer an alternate theory on what he was doing, and why. Mind you, I'm not an apologist for the guy. I'm just analyzing what would have probably went down.
Theory: LeBron skipped the post-series press conferences, so he could save his TEAM the kind of embarrassing questions he would have likely been asked.
Look, you can say James was a cowering King, unable to “face the music.” But honestly, what “music” was HE going to be faced with?
“You suck. Can I get your thoughts on that?”
Here's how the questions WOULD have gone to King James.
“Even though you were sensational in this series, do you think you have enough of a supporting cast to win the NBA Finals in Cleveland?”
“Even though he was the coach of the year, do you think Mike Brown has the experience necessary to guide a team to the Finals?”
“Even though you have said that you are happy right now in Cleveland, does this loss help or hurt the chances that you will opt out of your contract after 2010 and go to a larger market?”
And on, and on....
This is not like A-Rod skipping the media after going 1-for-a-billion at the plate in October for the Yankees. Dude averaged nearly 40 in this series, and singlehandedly won TWO games with miracles in the 4th quarter. It wasn't him.
So while you can say that LeBron still needed to suck it up, and deflect those questions or sing the company line with a proud loser's chin, by doing what he did, LeBron didn't allow those questions to even get off the ground.
If a tree falls alone in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
If the superstar player of a woeful franchise in a downtrodden city, runs home for the off-season without answering any questions about why his team/coach/city sucks so much, is that not actually one last favor he does for them?
Now, the “story” is Big Baby 'Bron. The media will chew on that for a few days. Privately, his coach and team will thank him for it.
Again, just an alternate theory. Maybe the obvious take is correct: Boo Hoo 'Bron. I don't quite see it like that. He's taking the blow, just like he took all the big shots to bail them out.
In the meantime, call Geppetto. We need a fuzzy Dwight Howard puppet. Stat!