FanDuel - WFBC

June 12, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks are taking the NBA Championship to Dallas: As snow fell on a steamy June night, pigs suddenly grew wings and Maverick fans will wake up Tuesday and hit every green light on the way to work. Itís the 1st championship for the Mavericks, who have been in existence since 1980. It will validate the careers of Dirk Nowitzki , Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and everybody associated with the organization. Itís the first title of any kind for a Dallas sports team since the Stars won the NHL championship in 1999.

posted by tommytrump to basketball at 10:58 PM - 128 comments

Congratulations Dallas!

posted by rocketman at 11:02 PM on June 12

Well, David Stern didn't have to put the trophy in Mark Cuban's hands.

The Heat pretty much capitulated: I haven't watched a huge amount of the Finals, but I saw a lot of flashy passing from them in half-court and not enough execution.

Also satisfying to see a lot of players on the podium tonight who had long been filed in the "best never to win..." category.

posted by etagloh at 11:07 PM on June 12

It seemed Miami crumbled under the pressure, the seasons and the playoffs. Maybe it doesn't make a difference in the end but the whole 'decision' was a mistake. It put a bullseye on their backs and I think it took a toll.

Then again, jason terry gave god credit for the victory. God is undefeated. Tough matchup for miami.

posted by justgary at 11:11 PM on June 12

I was very, very casually listening to the game while in the car this evening, and two thoughts occurred to me:

First, I suspect the Heat will be a lot better next year. Give those three a chance to play together a bit more, and they'll develop more chemistry. Maybe.

Second, Jason Kidd still plays basketball?

posted by rocketman at 11:14 PM on June 12

I totally sports-cried. So happy for Dirk and JET and Kidd and Marion and Carlisle. Not to mention every single other Mavs fan I went to games with, whether they were pre-season walkthroughs or intense playoff games over the years. Been a hell of a road, but sweet merciful crap, it's all of the sudden worth it.

In other words: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Takethatwitchyou!!!!! (because they can't ever take it back)

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:27 PM on June 12

Duval County teachers, please be advised that rcade's kids may not respond when called on in class tomorrow.

The reasons being:

Number 1 - they will be exhausted from staying up late to watch some daggone sporting event on TV.

Number 2 - their daddy has just changed all their first names to Dirk.

posted by beaverboard at 11:29 PM on June 12

Lebron James Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh Interview

Wow. Thanks. Had forgotten the extent of obnoxiousness.

Happy for Dallas AND Cleveland.

posted by justgary at 11:29 PM on June 12

So happy. The Mavs truly earned it and the heat collapsed. Best of both words.

posted by mtg at 11:31 PM on June 12

Happy for Dallas AND Cleveland.

Yup! The Mavaliers won, as I've heard it said.

posted by mtg at 11:32 PM on June 12

Congratulations to the Mavericks.

If The Heat come back humbled a little by the experience, it'll go a long way towards redeeming themselves next year. They need to save the celebrating for after they've won it all.

Wasn't a Heat celebration in game 2 part of the spark that lit up the Mavs?

posted by drezdn at 12:24 AM on June 13

Good for the Mavs, well deserved, and a convincing win tonight. However, with some of the sparks that the Heat showed throughout the playoffs, I am looking forward to seeing what they can do next year.

Also, two things: Chris Bosh played really, really well in this game, and the series in general; The Heat were -24 while LeBron was on the floor tonight.

posted by boredom_08 at 01:45 AM on June 13

My good friend's Facebook status update is "click like if you have as many championship rings as LeBron." Strangely satisfying to click that.

Go Mavs!

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:40 AM on June 13

In LeBron's post-game, on whether it will bother him that so many people were looking for him to fail:

"Absolutely not, because at the end of the day, all the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today," James said. "They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.

"They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point."

Classy.

posted by dfleming at 06:25 AM on June 13

Oh, LeBron. Indeed, tomorrow, I will be sober. But you'll still be LeBron.

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:48 AM on June 13

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:53 AM on June 13

Congrats to the Mavs! Well played and well deserved!

posted by BornIcon at 07:40 AM on June 13

"Absolutely not, because at the end of the day, all the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today," James said. "They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.

"They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point."

So he's got his money even after losing? Is that what it was really all about?

What tiny little respect for him I had left just went poof.

In Brian Windhorst's blog this morning, he noted something about the Heat in the fourth quarter of this game. During a fast break with James and Mario Chalmers, LeBron called for the ball but Chalmers refused to dish it to him and took it to the hoop himself. I'm thinking James is now persona-non-grata even among his own teammates.

posted by NerfballPro at 07:41 AM on June 13

Kids, the unused Miami Heat 2011 NBA Championship swag is on its way.

Are you excited about that?

posted by beaverboard at 07:55 AM on June 13

Then again, jason terry gave god credit for the victory. God is undefeated. Tough matchup for miami.

I'm confused. The NBA wanted everyone to believe LeBron James is god.

posted by dyams at 08:37 AM on June 13

their daddy has just changed all their first names to Dirk.

Dirk, Dirk, Dirk and I loved that comment. I refused to believe the Mavs would win until they were dribbling out the final seconds. It seems so improbable after they lost that big lead to Portland and the world was mocking them again as a one-and-done team.

The Heat were a completely different team in the second half of the fourth. Their body language changed and they did nothing in the final two minutes to extend the game. I wonder if Erik Spoelstra survives this loss. Coaches don't count against the salary cap so they can afford a bigger name.

LeBron's "personal problems" comment was really awkward. I'm sure Dwyane Wade appreciated being a part of that.

posted by rcade at 08:42 AM on June 13

Dan Gilbert on Twitter: "Congrats to Mark C.&entire Mavs org. Mavs NEVER stopped & now entire franchise gets rings. Old Lesson for all:There are NO SHORTCUTS. NONE."

posted by rcade at 08:46 AM on June 13

Dan Gilbert on Twitter: "Congrats to Mark C.&entire Mavs org. Mavs NEVER stopped & now entire franchise gets rings. Old Lesson for all:There are NO SHORTCUTS. NONE."

And once David Stern sees that tweet, Dan Gilbert will consider it another $50,000 well spent.

posted by NerfballPro at 09:01 AM on June 13

LeBron's "personal problems" comment was really awkward. I'm sure Dwyane Wade appreciated being a part of that.

Good point. And when I wake up tomorrow, it won't be with the knowledge my mother and girlfriend are being porked by co-workers.

posted by yerfatma at 09:35 AM on June 13

OK, someone tell the other teams they can stop sandbagging against the Mavs now so the NBA playoffs can begin.

Most interesting stat from last night (as boredom pointed out): Mavs outscored Heat by 24 when LeBron was on the floor.

Most interesting sight from last night: nobody really asked Wade anything during post-game interview.

posted by graymatters at 09:36 AM on June 13

God is undefeated

I seem to remember a Raven's Superbowl win where Satan got the upper hand

posted by bdaddy at 09:43 AM on June 13

I was really upset when Lebron made that 3 late in the 4th because before that, didn't he have like FOUR points in the 4th quarter? They could win 70 games next year and I still don't think they would be the favorites in the finals because of that big question about whether he's going to fold or not

posted by bdaddy at 09:47 AM on June 13

Dirk Nowitzki's shot coach Holger Geschwindner: "Tomorrow he gets a day off. As promised."

posted by rcade at 09:52 AM on June 13

LeBron fails, and Cleveland laughs.

posted by graymatters at 10:00 AM on June 13

So I'm confused. Does this mean that there is a conspiracy, or that there is a conspiracy but it's really well disguised?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:06 AM on June 13

at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today"

True, but at least my personal problems don't include my mom sleeping with my friend

posted by bdaddy at 10:08 AM on June 13

True, but at least my personal problems don't include my mom sleeping with my friend

That you know of, friend.
/puts pinky finger on corner of mouth
mwa ha ha ha...mwa ha ha ha

posted by NoMich at 10:14 AM on June 13

The Heat were -24 while LeBron was on the floor tonight

Dirk was a -4 and Brian freaking Cradinal with a game high +18 in 12 minutes. Not sure how Lebron managed a negative 24, I thought he played a decent game.

I'm confused. The NBA wanted everyone to believe LeBron James is god.

Jordan is God and, after this series, James is the Holy Ghost.

posted by tron7 at 10:41 AM on June 13

Anyone know what paper did this?

posted by rcade at 10:52 AM on June 13

Ad in bottom left says Miami Herald.

posted by graymatters at 11:14 AM on June 13

I love having to constantly correct the Dallas Morning News: The last professional championship for a Dallas team was the 2001 World Indoor Soccer League Champion Dallas Sidekicks.

posted by balthrop at 11:14 AM on June 13

what paper did this?

Weird thing is that, even if Heat had won, the ad should not have run before Wednesday.

posted by graymatters at 11:27 AM on June 13

Five years ago this shirt escaped briefly into the wild. I can finally look at it now without sobbing.

posted by rcade at 11:31 AM on June 13

No knock on the Sidekicks or the great Tatu, Balthrop, but few people would count indoor soccer among a city's pro championships. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey and maybe soccer.

posted by rcade at 11:34 AM on June 13

The Mavs were great, Miami showed themselves to be the obnoxiously full of themselves group they were perceived to be. I gained a lot of respect for pro basketball and in particular the whole Maverick team. Especailly Dirk Nowitski and J. Terry. Terry was spectacular. Maybe Lebron learned something from those two players. Like Dan Gilbert said, there are no shortcuts. Also the Dallas win demonstrated that had Lebron stayed in Cleveland and eventually won one title, just how much sweeter it would have been than even if he eventually goes on to win multiple with the Heat. Maybe Dirk and Jet can be an example to him in the future. Those two players stuck it out after the bitter 2006 defeat, it took a long time but they did it.

Terry off the bench showed a superstar, what has to happen in the big moments. I have a lot of respect for that guy and consider him to be one of the best clutch players I have seen.

I almost was beginning to feel sorry for Lebron, and also feel that maybe he paid enough of a price for his arrogance and trash talk following the decision, but just when I was ready to lay off him, he had to open his mouth at the post game press conference. Those comments just made him that much easier to continue wishing he never sees a ring. I will commend Chris Bosh for playing well and demonstrating some class in defeat that Wade and James did not have. I wonder if they will start doing separate press conferences now that James has managed to drag Wade into his B.S.

What a great and exciting series. I would like to thank Lebron James, D. Wade and Chris Bosh as well as the entire Heat team for giving me a reason to care about the finals outcome so passionately. Also thanks to the Mavs for proving the Lakers may not be done. I thought the Lakers had just died as a team, now I realize the Mavs were very good and almost destined to succeed.

posted by Atheist at 11:36 AM on June 13

The Heat were surprisingly flat throughout the fouth quarter, with four stretches of 1-2 minutes without scoring any points. The last couple of minutes were weird.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:42 AM on June 13

It's a pretty impressive transformation for Cuban. Before the Lebron/Heat debacle, a lot of people would have been Mavs haters because Cuban often grates. He was well-behaved throughout the Finals though, and hasn't been insufferable since the win.

posted by bperk at 11:49 AM on June 13

I would have liked to ask Lebron, Wade and Bosh if now that things have played out, looking back, do they think the over the top antics of the decision, the party in Miami, talking about a dynasty, and their in your face celebration when they went up by 15 pts in Game 2 in front of the Mavs bench were all mistakes?

I wonder how much talking they will be doing next year?

posted by Atheist at 11:53 AM on June 13

The stuff LeBron said in the post game conference was just pathetic. His detractors have personal problems? I guess LeBron considers not being super rich a personal problem.

posted by insomnyuk at 12:03 PM on June 13

What Mark Cuban did for Don Carter was really surprising. He let original owner Don Carter hoist the trophy. Carter still owns four percent of the team and attends games in that big cowboy hat, but I can't imagine many owners wouldn't grab the spotlight for themselves in that moment. Cuban's a different guy this year.

Really classy move, but I feel a bit cheated not to see Stern hand Cuban the hardware.

posted by rcade at 12:15 PM on June 13

Not 1, Not 1, Not 1, Not 1, Not 1, Not 1, Not 1.

The Uncrowned King cements his legacy. Always thought highly of Wade as a player before this year and can't remember seeing so much trash from him before, during, and after the game. Chris Bosh raised his game more than either in the last 2 series, he deserved a better fate.

Congrats to the Mavericks and Mark Cuban. Heck of a team accomplishment.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:25 PM on June 13

I would have liked to ask Lebron, Wade and Bosh if now that things have played out, looking back

Don't forget the coughing incident.

posted by yerfatma at 12:41 PM on June 13

posted by MeatSaber at 01:55 PM on June 13

Always thought highly of Wade as a player before this year and can't remember seeing so much trash from him before, during, and after the game.

I'm getting to be a broken record. What trash talk from Wade are you talking about?

posted by bperk at 02:08 PM on June 13

"Don't forget the coughing incident."

yerfatma - thanks for the reminder, I did forget that.

Never before have so few provided so many with so much ammo to throw back at them.

The way this all worked out, has me questioning my Atheism. Actually while I may not believe in god, Karma is looking very powerful.

posted by Atheist at 02:10 PM on June 13

"I'm getting to be a broken record. What trash talk from Wade are you talking about?"

How about the trash talk during the games, or the coughing incident, or tall the trash talk at the Miami signing celebration. Surely Lebron did the most talking but if you are going to hold hands with him at stand by his side and smile during his 3,4,5, 6, 7, .... ring speech, well in my book it is trash talk by proxy, and you get to get the credit for that stuff whether or not you actually do the talking or are just shaking your head in agreement.

posted by Atheist at 02:16 PM on June 13

There was more bad blood between the Mavericks and Heat than I realized. Wade didn't just beat the Mavs in 2006. He said a year later that they lost because of Dirk Nowitzki, an insult his team took personally this time around.

Wade said this: "You're remembered for what you did at the end. [Dirk] is the reason they lost the championship because he wasn't the leader he's supposed to be in the closing moments."

That's one reason the cough joke bugged the Mavs. They saw it as one more sign that Wade doesn't respect Dirk.

posted by rcade at 03:04 PM on June 13

Most of the trash talking during the series came from the Mavs, specifically by Terry and Stevenson. I can't remember the Heat saying much of anything. The things that Stevenson said were way worse than the little cough by Wade that was perhaps mocking the media. It just doesn't fit the storyline.

Trash talk by proxy is a completely ridiculous concept. Wade is not responsible for things that other people on his team say. Nowitzki is not responsible for the things that Terry and Stevenson play. Lebron takes complete and totally blame for the Decision. And, calling the Heat, and specifically Wade, classless for his participation in a pep rally sponsored by his team is weak.

The Mavs were flat-out the better team in the Finals. Nowitzki was a star and completely electrifying. All the players stepped up and just outplayed the Heat. There is no need to rewrite the history of the Finals that the Mavs were so classy with no trash-talking and the Heat were not being classy. Trash-talking (also called gamemanship) is a part of the NBA. Both teams did it in the Finals, and it did not impact the better team winning.

posted by bperk at 03:06 PM on June 13

the little cough by Wade that was perhaps mocking the media

No way. That retconn'd story they made up was more insulting than the initial act. I think this post sums it up well:

"We don't hate LeBron because The Decision was a bad idea, we hate LeBron because he didn't realize that The Decision was a bad idea."

I'm almost over hating the guy because he's honestly too stupid to hate. And not only is he not bright enough to see that "personal problems" line wasn't going to help his cause, he doesn't have anyone around him who cares more about LeBron than living the life they can because of LeBron to sit him down and tell him to shut up.

posted by yerfatma at 03:24 PM on June 13

I would agree that one player is not responsible for what another player on his team says. I also think most of the trash talk Miami did early when they came together and was not directly addressed at the Mavs. Their premature celebration in game 2 was directly aimed at the Mavs bench as was the coughing incident..

True the Mavs were the better TEAM, but I do think the pre-season trash talk did impact the play of Lebron as it seems to me it added a lot of additional pressure that obviously he could not handle. Of course he did do it to himself.

As for the Mavs being classier than the Heat. In my book they were. Yes Terry did some talking which I might add Nowitzki commented that he talked too much. The Mavs were gracious winners and I am not sure the Heat would have been had they won.

As for the trash talk by proxy. It may have been Lebron who talked about winning 70 games or 8 titles but when the other two are standing next to him nodding while he is saying it,, I do consider it a statement attributable to all three. When Lebron made is comments in the post game press conference I thought a detected a cringe from Wade especially when Lebron was making his comments about people's lives and personal problems.

My guess this marriage is heading for a divorce. I have a feeling the big three may not stay together very long, and most likely Lebron and D. Wade, will begin doing separate press conferences from here on out as I can't imagine Wade appreciates being linked to the most hated player in the NBA when he opens his mouth.

I stick by my early season thoughts that the best thing for the Heat would be to not play Wade and Lebron on the floor at the same time. Of course that will cause a lot of tension, but they would be a better team if those guys rotated instead of trying to be on the court together which essentially nullifies one of them to some extent.

After reading what Wade said about Nowitzki after the 2006 series, it makes the fact that Dirk did nothing but show respect for the Heat even more classy, and says a lot about Wade as a person if you ask me.

posted by Atheist at 03:27 PM on June 13

The things that Stevenson said were way worse

As Dirk said, Terry likes to hear himself talk (I heard one commentator mention that Terry has a wife and a bunch of daughters so away from home is the only time he gets to talk). But what did Stevenson say? I know he has a reputation for talking trash and has blasted James in the past, but I missed whatever his trash talk was during the Finals.

posted by graymatters at 03:46 PM on June 13

Stevenson said that LeBron "checked out" of a game the Heat lost in the Finals. He also said that Wade and LeBron were good actors. Today he's wearing a T-shirt that reads, "Hey, LeBron! How's My Dirk Taste?"

posted by rcade at 03:58 PM on June 13

A couple of fascinating stats:

"Terry's 368 points were the most by a bench player in a single postseason in the past 25 years, and his 18 points per game was the highest in the NBA Finals for a player who didn't start a game since Freddie Brown averaged 19.1 for the Bullets in 1978."

"Only O'Neal and Michael Jordan averaged more points in the fourth quarter in the NBA Finals in the past 20 seasons [than Nowitzki]."

posted by rcade at 04:03 PM on June 13

Quick correction of the ESPN article -

"...highest in the NBA Finals for a player who didn't start a game since Freddie Brown averaged 19.1 for the Bullets in 1978."

That should be -

"...highest in the NBA Finals for a player who didn't start a game since Freddie Brown averaged 19.1 against the Bullets in 1978."

Freddie Brown & Slick Watts were my favorite players on those Supersonics teams.

posted by MrNix67 at 04:22 PM on June 13

Wade said this:

So much of the media focus of that series was on Shaq winning without Kobe that I guess Wade's comments were overshadowed at the time. Never realized he was as much of a blowhard as LeBron, and thought it was proximity to LeBron stoking his current actions. Bad mouthing an opponent you've just beaten? Real class act.

Um, Stevenson's shirt is a funny response to the Heat personna but also questionable. However, at least he'll leave something for fans to remember him by when his stint in the NBA ends.

posted by cixelsyd at 05:10 PM on June 13

Criticizing Wade from the 2006 Finals is a definite case of revisionist history. Dirk has completely redeemed himself in this Finals. However, in 2006, Dirk was kicking balls into the stand, knocking over exercise bikes, and claiming that the Mavs gave the championship to the Heat. Dirk absolutely deserved the criticism Wade threw his way after his behavior in the Finals. The Mavs were about the worst losers I can remember in awhile complaining and whining and not giving credit to the Heat.

posted by bperk at 06:01 PM on June 13

Stevenson said that LeBron 'checked out' of a game the Heat lost in the Finals.

Was it the game he scored 8 points?

He also said that Wade and LeBron were good actors.

Well, they are excellent floppers, especially Wade.

posted by kirkaracha at 06:04 PM on June 13

However, in 2006, Dirk was kicking balls into the stand, knocking over exercise bikes, and claiming that the Mavs gave the championship to the Heat.

I don't remember Nowitzki kicking a ball. The Mavs did say they felt like they gave the championship away, but that seems like a factual assessment. They had a 2-0 series lead and were up by 13 in the fourth quarter of game 3.

posted by rcade at 06:30 PM on June 13

Dear LeBron,

Yes, when I wake up tomorrow I will still have all the personal problems I had on Sunday. However, take heart in knowing that from now until the next NBA playoffs I will have that one bright point of happiness knowing that you still do not have an NBA championship ring. You can't buy one of them no matter how much money you got.

posted by steelergirl at 06:34 PM on June 13

I keep seeing talk of the Heat making major changes in the offseason involving the big three and Spoelstra. That seems idiotic to me. They were two wins from a ring in their first season together. They're going to be better next year.

posted by rcade at 06:34 PM on June 13

Oh, and "GOOD JOB MAVS!!!"

posted by steelergirl at 06:34 PM on June 13

I don't remember Nowitzki kicking a ball.

I do.

posted by justgary at 06:56 PM on June 13

"I keep seeing talk of the Heat making major changes in the offseason involving the big three and Spoelstra. That seems idiotic to me. They were two wins from a ring in their first season together. They're going to be better next year."

I agree with your assessment to some extent but I seriously question the heart and ability to play under pressure of Lebron. Had this been the first series where he played under his level I would not even be bagging on him. It is important to remember that he was on the team with the best record in the NBA, was number one seed and favored to win, and has a history of disappearing in those big moments where he is supposed to earn his money. he always blamed the lack of help and now he has the help and nothing has changed. His very decision to leave the Cav's to me, was indicative of his inability to handle the pressure of being the guy. It's obvious to me he needs not to be the team leader and prefers to be 2nd fiddle to a real superstar. I always suspected the big three actions away from the court and throughout the decision and hype that ensued, was a clear example of a character flaw in them that was exposed when the going got tough against Dallas. As soon as they lost momentum in game two, they did not have the inner strength to recover. Similar to the lack of strength Lebron showed in running to Miami.

IMO the Heat would be better to trade one of the big three in favor of a big time big man like Howard, (not that I think that will happen). Neither Wade or James play that well without the ball and regardless of their level of talent, don't really make a good match on the court together. The coach did little to make adjustments probably because he is not the boss and does not have the respect of the big three enough to be able to coach them. If anything he gets thrown under the bus instead of James.

As far as them being better next year, Lebron has been talking about next year for the last 4 years.

posted by Atheist at 06:57 PM on June 13

He also said that Wade and LeBron were good actors.

Yeh, I saw that article about Stevenson, but I did not take it as talking trash. His comments were that Wade and LeBron had a tendency to pose under the basket and mouth off to or stare at the officials if they did not get a foul call, and thus be slow getting back on defense. Stevenson said the Mavs needed to push the ball to take advantage of this.

I keep seeing talk of the Heat making major changes in the offseason

Won't they have to, at least involving players other than the Big Three? How many of the Heat extras had more than a one-year contract? They probably need to go out and find a bunch of players to play at the minimum for the privilege of playing with James and Wade and the assurance that they will get a championship ring nice parting gift.

posted by graymatters at 07:35 PM on June 13

Yes, I think the Heat try this one more time with all three, doing whatever they can to find some more effective spare parts in the off-season, but going ahead similarly to this year.

Then if they don't win, they'll trade Bosh. They'll quit on their great plan, just as fast as they did in game six.

Zing.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:45 PM on June 13

major changes in the offseason involving the big three and Spoelstra. That seems idiotic to me.

I think that's media noise. They might lose Spolestra, but big deal. The Lakers feel comfortable trying to win with Mike Brown, so maybe they just don't hire anyone.

posted by yerfatma at 07:52 PM on June 13

You can't buy one of them no matter how much money you got.

Ahem. But I get your point.

posted by graymatters at 09:31 PM on June 13

My favorite take is posnanski's:

That's what I think happened to LeBron James. I don't know that. I can't know that. The only person on earth who can really know for sure is LeBron James. But it sure looked that way. The Heat, with James playing the lead role, had exemplified arrogance and glamour and talent and brilliance. They mocked the doubters. They bragged that with their talent this season was either championship or failure. They told us so. But in Game 6, with the game getting away, with Dallas' team of 30-somethings who had never won championships tasting blood, with the minds of their home crowd apparently off to the next thing (and on South Beach, there's always a next thing) well, it just got too hard, you know?

I came into the series hating James. Now he seems more pathetic than anything else. I still think he takes more unwarranted abuse than any player I've known, and I think there's people he will never be able to please, but it's hard to feel sorry for him when he just keeps inviting it.

I don't know if it's immaturity, but he simply doesn't learn from his mistakes. We got a hint of the real Jordan during his HoF speech, but he hid the ego and bitterness during his career. If James would just learn to shut up and spout cliches like most pro athletes he'd save himself a world of hurt.

That retconn'd story they made up was more insulting than the initial act.

It was embarrassing for Wade:

"I actually did cough," Wade said. "And with the cameras being right there, we made a joke out of it because we knew you guys were going to blow it up. You did exactly what we knew.

God, just shut up.

Also:

LeBron let down the Heat on defense, too

posted by justgary at 09:41 PM on June 13

The last couple of minutes were weird.

It was garbage time, played out like a blowout mid-season game. Except it was the Finals, with a championship about to be decided. So yeah, that's weird.

posted by etagloh at 11:00 PM on June 13

"Yes, I think the Heat try this one more time with all three, doing whatever they can to find some more effective spare parts in the off-season, but going ahead similarly to this year. "

I agree but it is ironic, I mean the Heat scrambling to find some more help for Lebron. It does sound like the end of the last few Cavalier seasons. Trying to find the missing puzzle piece to help Lebron get over the hump next year. After all, D. Wade and Chris Bosh are just not enough.

All Lebron, Wade & Bosh need is Dwight Howard, then maybe with some help from a few new role players, and a new coach, they might do it.

I really want to stop hating but as Lebron said, as soon as I do, I am going to be forced back to my miserable life while he leads the high life. Therefore I must continue to hate, if only to postpone going back to my worthless existence.

posted by Atheist at 11:14 PM on June 13

LeBron James: Making Americans cheer for Germany for the 1st time since WWII.

posted by Debo270 at 08:49 AM on June 14

After all, D. Wade and Chris Bosh are just not enough.

They're enough if LeBron plays like he did in the regular season. I don't think it's possible for them to add a fourth all-star like Howard. The salary cap already has the big three taking cuts from what they'd earn elsewhere.

posted by rcade at 09:14 AM on June 14

I also don't care for LeBron, much the same as I don't really care for Michael Jordan. As always, I give them all the credit possible for being exceptional athletes. But LeBron never really seems to have matured, and it's not that difficult to understand why. The kid was thrown right from high school into the life of a "star" and multi-millionaire. What really prepared him for that? Just because he's on TV, news, commercials, do we all believe he's a mature adult? Just because he looked like he was 32 when he was 17 doesn't mean he was ever emotionally ready for adult life, and all the money in the world can't buy that. In this age of constant, 24/7 exposure, all he is really provided with is ample time and opportunity to make an ass out of himself, and unless he's handcuffed to his agent or PR team, they can't issue statements and run interference for him all the time.

Congratulations to the Mavericks, though. I'd love to have an invite to any party Mark Cuban is in charge of arranging.

posted by dyams at 09:20 AM on June 14

LeBron keeps on keeping on: "Dr Jack tells us LeBron didn't talk to ABC & ESPN b/c James felt the network didn't report 'The Decision' accurately."

So he's mad at ESPN for doing exactly what he wanted them to do in that event choreographed by his people?

Just because he's on TV, news, commercials, do we all believe he's a mature adult?

He's 26 years old. If he's not a mature adult by now, that's nobody's fault but his own.

posted by rcade at 09:32 AM on June 14

He's 26 years old. If he's not a mature adult by now, that's nobody's fault but his own.

Obviously it's mainly his own fault. But handing a kid millions of dollars upon leaving high school and treating him like royalty only results in creating a spoiled, entitled young person. Average young people who actually mature appropriately often are surrounded by some decent role models. I doubt James has had many of those who actually give a shit about him except to use him for their own financial gains.

posted by dyams at 10:04 AM on June 14

By the way, does anyone know if LeBron congratulated anyone after the game? All I saw on TV was him going to locker room by himself immediately after game. I wasn't aware he could leave unless Wade gave him permission, but I saw Wade congratulating and hugging various Mavs. Memories.

posted by graymatters at 10:27 AM on June 14

By the way, does anyone know if LeBron congratulated anyone after the game?

In the post-game interview, Jason Kidd did mention LeBron congratulating him and being glad he finally won one. Kidd said he was classy about it.

posted by jmd82 at 10:54 AM on June 14

The state of Ohio is never going to get tired of kicking LeBron in the nuts. Even the governor is involved.

posted by rcade at 10:56 AM on June 14

"They're enough if LeBron plays like he did in the regular season. I don't think it's possible for them to add a fourth all-star like Howard. The salary cap already has the big three taking cuts from what they'd earn elsewhere."

rcade - Exactly, of course my post was sarcastic, but the problem is Lebron always seems to let everybody down in the playoffs. My whole point is he himself said, he did not want to have to score 30 points every game and needed help. Apparently he needs so much help that he needs to be on a team that can win the title without him. Lets face it if he played in the playoffs with Cleveland like he did during the season when they were the best team in the NBA, he would already have two rings.

I think it's a given that if Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird don't play as well or better than they do during the season, their respective teams would not have won titles either. Every team needs their top players to elevate their games in the playoffs if they want that title. Nobody can argue James is not extremely physically talented and a great player but frankly Miami should be able to count on him when it counts and they can't just like the Cav's couldn't. It was always the lack of help in Cleveland and with all star help it seems the story is the same. In their own words, anything less than the title will be failure.

Rings are not everything, after all Luke Walton has a lot more rings than Lebron James. Does that make him a better player? of course not. It does mean he has enough help, so much help in fact he can actually sit on the bench and get a ring. That is how I am beginning to see Lebron. If the Heat added a player like Dwight Howard and they won a title with Howard, Bosh, Wade and Lebron, how would that elevate Lebron's status in the discussion of all time greats? It wouldn't because he is not the guy who is going to lead a team to the title. He's the guy who is going to be led to a title by someone else. That seems to be what he is not getting. To be considered on par with the greats, you must lead your team to a championship not be led by D. Wade and Chris Bosh. I believe if Bosh and Wade had a center in place of James, they would be champions. If I was Pat Riley James is the guy I loose, and I go after an all star guy in the middle.

posted by Atheist at 11:23 AM on June 14

he was classy about it

Good. Maybe he is growing up after all.

posted by graymatters at 12:06 PM on June 14

He's 26 years old. If he's not a mature adult by now, that's nobody's fault but his own.

Michael Jordan couldn't make his sophomore high school team. He had 3 years of college under Dean Smith, and though he was a good player, no one saw him becoming the player he did in the NBA.

James has been treated as the second coming since high school. He probably hasn't heard the word NO since he was 14. He went straight from high school to the pros. He's probably been surrounded by yes men since he was a kid.

So yeah, 26 is an old age to say he needs to mature. But star athletes aren't like normal people, and James isn't a normal star athlete. And he has to be responsible for his choices. But what 17 year old is going to skip the pros for college if everyone around him wants him to make the big bucks?

I don't know what the answer is, but comparing him to a normal 26 year old seems oblivious to the situation. He has to take some blame, but 'no one's fault but his own'? I'm guessing there's a ton of people that can share the blame.

but the problem is Lebron always seems to let everybody down in the playoffs

With Nowitzki in the picture it's absolutely amazing that you can say this without a hint of irony. You've written 50,000 words (at least) since the playoffs bagging on James, most of it the same points repeated ad nauseum. Just admit you hate the guy and save your breath.

By the way, does anyone know if LeBron congratulated anyone after the game?

Man, does James have a bullseye on his back or what. We're actively looking for something he does that offends us.

It was Nowitzki that got of the court as quickly as possible. If James had done the same we'd be talking about that also.

posted by justgary at 01:45 PM on June 14

He has to take some blame, but 'no one's fault but his own'? I'm guessing there's a ton of people that can share the blame.

There should be a statute of limitations on blaming other people for what you do with your life as an adult. LeBron's been in the NBA for eight years. If he had gone to college, he'd be four years past that. He has two children.

I think he's the most hyped phenom in the history of American pro sports, so yes that presented youthful challenges to his character development. But at some point he's old enough to take full responsibility for his maturity. If we're not there at 26, when do we get there?

posted by rcade at 01:56 PM on June 14

If I was Pat Riley James is the guy I loose, and I go after an all star guy in the middle.

Because you hate him to the point of irrationality.

posted by tron7 at 02:00 PM on June 14

Rings are not everything, after all Luke Walton has a lot more rings than Lebron James.

Having to endure a bitch like LeBron winning a championship is a huge turn-off. I am so relieved the Maveliers won. If they hadn't, I'd probably stop watching basketball altogether. To me, the LeBron story is the sole force driving the animosity toward Wade, Bosh, Spoelstra and the rest of the Heat.

The storyline suggests you can give up on your teammates, sell out on your friends, and still win everything. It means success in life is not about inner strength, it's about the better house, the better team, the externalities, and it's about taking shortcuts. Underlying this story is a pretty far-reaching spiritual and philosophical issue. It touches the family, it touches politics, it touches the individual pursuit of a happy life. What if everyone in the world were to act like LeBron - quit on their friends and move in with better friends.

It's been so twisted up by LeBron that, I'm not even sure a championship will provide him with relief. I really worry about his mental state. I sincerely hope - but also lament - that this is the closest he ever gets to winning a championship, and that this season be both the pinnacle of his career, both in terms of it's success and it's abject failure.

Sports is about a lot more than a basket going through a hoop over and over again. I dunno exactly what though. Watching pure talent win? Watching the good guys win? LeBron isn't even really a villain. He is a failure, making lateral moves.

I think he basically was keeping his shit together in Cleveland and now that he is in Miami he has really lost his way. That interview where he spoke to his critics and said "well they have to wake up tomorrow and still be themselves".. how can you root for that? How can you get behind that? It shits on the magic of organized sports.

LeBron has positioned himself in this really awkward situation. His story.. I don't know what to say, it's almost morose.

posted by phaedon at 02:30 PM on June 14

Stevenson said that LeBron "checked out" of a game the Heat lost in the Finals.

Stevenson repeated what Jim Rome said.

posted by BornIcon at 02:33 PM on June 14

"Because you hate him to the point of irrationality."

No because I believe the statement is valid. I love it when someone tells me why I feel the way I do. With an all star championship guard like D. Wade, and a forward like Bosh, what would improve Miami is an all star center. James is the one element of the big three that did not serve his team well and has proven year after year, he may not be reliable to perform to his ability in the championship run. Rationally speaking, he is worth enough to make room for obtaining a player that can do what Bosh and Wade need. Bottom line if you had to get rid of one of the big three to improve the overall team, who would you choose? Likability aside.

I always was a fan of James' talent and did not know much about him, until the decision and the subsequent exposure of his personality since. I did suspect he did not have the big game mentality, these playoffs validated that suspicion. I did not really care for Michael Jordan from what I had seen of his personality. That doesn't really factor into what he does on a basketball court. It isn't about a personal dislike for James, but more that his personality is precisely what is to blame for his performance on the court in this series, why I think he has yet to win a title regardless of who he is playing with, why he isn't a leader, and why with all the talent in the world, he may not be the best all star to build a team around.

I was not a Bosh fan, but came out of this series liking him the most of the Miami players, for what he did on the court and how he handled himself in interviews. He was the guy who seemed to take the loss the hardest, had the most fire to win, and stood up like a man afterward without pointing fingers. The most surprising for me was that I use to be a big fan of D. Wade, but since he became attached to James and it seems some of that uber arrogance has rubbed off, I find myself not liking him now. Although I feel he is the better clutch player and better team leader.

Phaedon - your post did a great job in expressing how I feel also. Great and thanks, you summed it up well.

posted by Atheist at 02:40 PM on June 14

What if everyone in the world were to act like LeBron - quit on their friends and move in with better friends.

This is where your metaphor falls apart: He didn't quit on his friends. He quit on his coworkers. People leave behind coworkers all the time.

There's nothing wrong with LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers in free agency. What's wrong is the way he handled it.

posted by rcade at 03:16 PM on June 14

Stevenson repeated what Jim Rome said.

I heard that was the case, but it's not like he had to be coaxed too much into slagging LeBron. They have a history.

posted by rcade at 03:17 PM on June 14

LeBron did not lose the Finals. The Heat did, and the Mavs won. But I think overall what has happened thus far in Miami just adds more evidence to support a belief that LeBron is not a player you build a team around. In the right situation (a lesser talented team), he can be the best player. But for a team expected to excell, he cannot be the star, but just a piece of the puzzle.

posted by graymatters at 03:22 PM on June 14

Bottom line if you had to get rid of one of the big three to improve the overall team, who would you choose?

The only reason I'd even consider "getting rid" of any of these guys is for some silly mental exercise. That said, Bosh is the least important, most replaceable of the three.

The storyline suggests you can give up on your teammates, sell out on your friends, and still win everything. It means success in life is not about inner strength, it's about the better house, the better team, the externalities, and it's about taking shortcuts. Underlying this story is a pretty far-reaching spiritual and philosophical issue. It touches the family, it touches politics, it touches the individual pursuit of a happy life. What if everyone in the world were to act like LeBron - quit on their friends and move in with better friends.

Shouldn't this be in comic sans?

posted by tron7 at 03:22 PM on June 14

tron7 - I wouldn't say Bosh is the least important. I might agree Bosh is not as talented physically as Wade or James, but is probably a more important piece of the puzzle. I mean at his position, he is a great compliment to either Wade or James. The reason I get rid of James in the hypothetical discussion is that I feel a good center is a bigger key to success than two play makers taking turns. Bosh will compliment a good big man and a great play maker or team general to run the offense. The biggest problem is Lebron and Wade, I think if anything this series helped show that the two of them together on the floor don't necessarily help each other, and from what I saw in all the series' was the Heat were not any better with both of them on the floor than they were with one or the other, one at a time. They both can't do what they do at the same time. In the end if I have to pick one, Wade is the better play maker, team general, and clutch player. Lebron is better defensively but a great big man in the middle would mitigate the loss of his defense skills and give both Wade and Bosh that last piece of the puzzle for a more well rounded and deeper team.

We all know with the salary cap the Heat will never be able to keep all three and add another great player. It makes sense to trade what you have an abundance of in order to get what you are lacking. No doubt Lebron James would bring a great price (maybe less now than he would have before the finals) but still who else could you deal to get that center that could put them over the top?

posted by Atheist at 04:15 PM on June 14

I wouldn't say Bosh is the least important

Then you are watching a different league. It's ok to hate LeBron, just stop trying to invent a justification for it.

posted by yerfatma at 04:42 PM on June 14

Lebron and Wade are redundant where as Bosh has an entirely different role and one I believe is just as important. Bosh performed his role better as a team member IMO and it has nothing to do with James. I do not need to invent justification for disliking James, he has provided plenty. Based on his national lack of popularity at this moment, I find it funny you might signal me out as a person who is inventing justification for not liking the guy, when it appears I am one of a great many who feel he isn't very likable.

I suppose the reason so many tuned in to the playoffs (best ratings for the finals in 11 years) had absolutely nothing to do with a desire to see the Miami Heat having to eat some poorly chosen words, some ill fated and very arrogant predictions, or the DECISION. I would also like to say that while I take some pleasure in rooting against Lebron's quest for a ring, and have used the word hate in posts. I do not know Lebron James nor do I hate him in the sense I would wish him harm, I hate him like a Laker fan hates the Celtics or a Steeler fan hates the Browns or Red Sox fans hate the Yankees. I love to root against him, and it is for no other reason than the way I perceive him which I recognize may or may not be the reality. The words love and hate have a different meaning when discussing sports than their literal meanings in life.

posted by Atheist at 05:52 PM on June 14

Sports poll: If you could only choose one of two players for your team, which would you choose - LeBron James or Dwyane Wade?

posted by graymatters at 06:10 PM on June 14

A) you're ignoring defense. B) Bosh has a game that can be approximated by a dozen guys in the league, James is rather unique. Think of it like value over replcaement (but not true VORP). I'd say it's pretty obvious that James is more valuable.

I hear what you're saying about redundancy but I just don't agree with you. Sure, they need to learn to play off of each other better but I don't see a reason that can't happen. Early in games in these finals Lebron was giving the Dallas fits with hard off the ball cuts to the rim but I don't recall seeing much of that in the 4th quarters, their offense melted back into something simpler and easier to defend. I think the onus is probably on James to get better off the ball, or perhaps a coach to make him do it, as he seems the most suited for it between him and Wade.

posted by tron7 at 06:26 PM on June 14

Actually I did give him the credit for unbelievable defense I just think a good big man in the middle will mitigate the loss of Lebron on defense. He is not easy to replace but gains in some areas can mitigate what would be lost and add in an area they need more. I would never suggest any team trade a Lebron James, unless of course they have a D. Wade, Chris Bosh and could gain a big middle man.

posted by Atheist at 06:30 PM on June 14

James is rather unique

He is the most athletically gifted player the NBA has seen in a very long time hence the media fueled unfair comparison to Jordan. Lots of talk on ESPN Radio comparing him to Alex Rodriguez - lights out during the regular season, lights off come playoff crunch time.

I tend to think the Heat would be really good with Wade, Bosh, and some money to find a complementary player. Wade has proven he can get it done and is comfortable being the guy, LeBron has not.

posted by cixelsyd at 07:25 PM on June 14

If we're not there at 26, when do we get there?

Isn't Nowitzki 32? If so, 32, that's my answer.

I like what Bill Simmons' said (or his friend):

LeBron caved from the never-ending scrutiny (as brutal as any athlete has ever faced in the Internet era) and his shaky inner circle, which consists of one parent (his mother, who battled a ton of problems over the years), his high school friends (who assumed an inordinately crucial role in his life without any real experience), his agents (who never threw their bodies in front of "The Decision"), and Miami's management (who walked him into another fiasco with the Heat's Welcome Party). By all accounts, he's a genuinely nice and happy guy who just wants to be liked he was never meant to be a villain, and as much as he tried to feed off the heat (no pun intended), once it piled up past a certain point, he broke.

James is 26. Barring injury he'll be playing for a long time. I came into the playoffs hating the guy, but I'm almost rooting for him now. If he'd just learn that he doesn't have to say everything he thinks, he'd take some pressure off himself.

I didn't want him to win the same year of the 'decision'. That would have been awful. But I'd love, at this point, to see what those that seem to hate him to almost an unhealthy level do if he actually won a championship.

posted by justgary at 07:36 PM on June 14

Lots of talk on ESPN Radio comparing him to Alex Rodriguez - lights out during the regular season, lights off come playoff crunch time.

A-Rod's average in the playoffs is 290, ops is .925, in 5 division championship series his ops is 1.047. He was a monster during the Yankees 2009 WS run.

But most people go by A-Rods rep, not his actual stats. Plus, espn radio sucks.

posted by justgary at 07:44 PM on June 14

LeBron's playoff stats: 28.0 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game, 7.0 assists per game. There is a difference between playoffs and playoffs crunch time. LeBron will probably one day have his "2009 WS," maybe next year.

And, yeah, espn radio does suck.

posted by graymatters at 07:56 PM on June 14

Isn't Nowitzki 32? If so, 32, that's my answer.

What does Nowitzki have to do with this?

posted by rcade at 08:55 PM on June 14

What does Nowitzki have to do with this?

If we're talking about the maturity to handle pressure, to get the job done, why not use Nowitzki? A player that was incredible but couldn't get over the hump, was considered soft, and made everyone forget all that with one series.

All this talk about what the Heat need to do, but if James just played his normal game chances are the Heat win.

James has the physical part of the game down. He just needs the mental. He's 26. Maybe he'll spend the rest of his 10 or so playing years left shrinking at crunch time. Maybe he'll never learn. I wouldn't bet on it though.

posted by justgary at 10:17 PM on June 14

Back to the original topic: MAVS WON.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by graymatters at 10:49 PM on June 14

Was it just me, or did it seem a little uncomfortable when LeBron left the court, as he stopped to speak to Wade and Bosh, and neither of them seemed too eager to interact with him? Perhaps they were both just a little stunned at the loss, but it seemed that they both kind of snubbed him a little bit. Then, he makes the walk down the tunnel to the locker room by himself, while teammates walked with Wade and Bosh. Just sayin'.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:32 AM on June 15

If we're talking about the maturity to handle pressure ...

I thought we were talking about maturity in life, not on the court. I think LeBron's had an adult game since high school. He could learn from Nowitzki to develop new shots, like a post-up game, but even if he doesn't he was two wins from a ring. If the big three work hard this summer I think they're heavy favorites.

posted by rcade at 09:32 AM on June 15

justgary - I think your last two posts were great and right on. After reading them I want to soften my opinion on Lebron. Sometimes it is very easy to forget, especially when looking at James that he is only 26. Part of that is why what he says under intense scrutiny and pressure is forgivable. Maybe the biggest part of his problem is how accelerated is life must be. I thought his leaving Cleveland was a big mistake in part because of the fact he had so much time to accomplish what he set out to do there, he was very close with that team, and giving up on that goal at such a young age in an attempt at a shortcut to a ring, just seemed like an act of premature desperation, and lack of confidence. Especially when you consider that he actually left a team that was just a couple of tweeks and a great performance away from a title to go to a team that is in the exact same spot, just a couple of tweeks and a great performance away from the title. In doing so, he actually hurt himself, his image, his pocket book while really getting no closer to his ultimate goal than he already was, and may in fact reduce the reward and accolades he receives if and when he gets there.

I do feel sorry for him because he really hasn't done anything all that bad, a couple of bad PR judgement calls, a muffed career move, and let pressure that would kill most of us, cause him to perform somewhat below his ability.

I sincerely hope he learns from all of this, and we do get to see the best he has to offer in the future. I agree Miami will be the favorite next year regardless of what off season moves they make, but I also think several other teams will do what it takes to make a very serious challenge. Dwight Howard will be a big chip if in some scenario he ends paired up with an all star play maker.

One more quick thing, and I am not being sarcastic, thanks to Lebron James and the Miami Heat. There is no Hero without a worthy villian. For me with the early exit of the Lakers, the fact the Heat were in it to the end, kept me interested in and enjoying basketball more than ever. So for now I am going to cease and desist piling on a man when he is down.

posted by Atheist at 11:17 AM on June 15

We need a bad jokes thread. From Jim Rome: "Have you heard about the new Lebron cell phone? It's really cool, but it has no rings."

Also: "If LeBron wanted a ring so bad, he should've stayed in Cleveland and bought one from Terrelle Pryor."

posted by phaedon at 12:36 PM on June 15

So for now I am going to cease and desist piling on a man when he is down.

That assumes that James is in fact down. He may well already be gliding effortlessly through the next day in his anointed life while we rejoin our own individual versions of humdrum suffering and travail, already in progress.

If anyone finds out he's cloistered in an underground bunker breaking down film and pondering how things went so wrong in a relentless bout of self-reflection, please let us know.

I put much of blame for the LeBron hate squarely on Heat President Pat Riley. He played on a team with a Big Three (Chamberlain, Baylor, West). He coached a team with a Big Three (Kareem, Magic, Worthy). He sent them into epic battle against a Big Three (Bird, Parish, McHale).

None of those holy trinities would have ever told people they were going to win 7 rings (or more). They knew how hard it was to win a championship.

Riley of all people should damn well know that the presence of Wade, Bosh and LeBron on one team is no guarantee of anything. They may never get anywhere close to accomplishing what those other threesomes did. Riley should have stepped up and nixed all the idiot shit that began when LeBron put on that Homer Formby shirt and sat down with dishrag Jim Gray.

Followed by three fools sitting on bar stools counting out their titles to come. You know Pat Riley knows better.

(On the other hand, promoting hate is a hell of an effective way to make ungodly sums of money...)

posted by beaverboard at 01:19 PM on June 15

I heard that was the case, but it's not like he had to be coaxed too much into slagging LeBron. They have a history.

I agree. However, I was just pointing out that although Stevenson said that LeBron 'checked out', it wasn't necessarily him that chose those specific words.

In the end if I have to pick one, Wade is the better play maker...

LeBron and Dwayne are similar players in that they're both scorers but LeBron is definately the better play maker. LeBron is a walking triple double and a good defender but D-Wade is better on D IMO.

posted by BornIcon at 01:28 PM on June 15

Joe Pos on the hate. Sums my feelings up pretty well. He's fun to hate, just don't take it so seriously.

posted by yerfatma at 01:56 PM on June 15

With regard to beaverboard's post and to reference something I mentioned before, those 3 big three teams you mentioned all have one thing in common. One of the big three was a center, which is why I think I would trade Lebron or Wade if necessary to obtain a Howard if given the opportunity.

Some of the players mentioned were not superstars or all stars until they became part of a winning combination. For example Kareem and Magic were definitely a big two, Worthy I do not believe was a notable big time player nor was Michael Cooper or Norm Nixon. Sometimes winning multiple titles turns the top 3 or 4 players on a dynasty team into a big three or four. Has the big three title ever been applied to a group without that winning history? I mean isn't the current big three Nowitzki, Terri, Barrea or Marrion? If they by some miracle put together another finals, or by midway next season with a continued high level performance wind up with three all stars of their own?

The bottom line here is Dynasties are built on results, not declared or self proclaimed as the result of free agency moves.

I guess some might say a lot of this is on Pat Riley, or is he crazy like a fox?

yerfatma - that was a very great article and completely sums up my irrational "hate" for Lebron the basketball player not Lebron the human being.

posted by Atheist at 02:33 PM on June 15

Why would Dwight Howard take less money though? He needs one - a Wade or a Lebron - not both.

posted by bperk at 03:15 PM on June 15

Why take less money, because obviously rings are pretty highly valued in the legacy of a great player, the same reason the other did.

Trade Wade or Lebron for Howard. Wade, Howard and Bosh or Lebron, Howard and Bosh IMO might be a better big three than the current, certainly more complementary position-wise. I am pretty certain of one thing, if Howard were to decide to leave Orlando, I am pretty sure it won't be by way of a prime time televised decision special, but rather a quiet back door exit. I am also pretty sure based on the this season a player like Howard might be better served going to any all star pair up then walk into the Miami firestorm. Howard with Rose or Durant or Paul or Byrant, could give make any of their respective teams a lot of trouble.

I do think that the assembly of an almost all star team in Miami may in fact start a trend which might compress the top talent in the NBA to create a few stacked teams.

posted by Atheist at 05:03 PM on June 15

Perhaps now, after having ingested an ample portion of crow, with some humble pie for dessert, James and Wade will understand what it takes to succeed in a championship series. Their opponent is not going to look at their reputation and lay down for them. The referees can go only so far in giving them undeserved calls. In other words, mental and physical toughness is required, and while they obviously have the latter, they are somewhat suspect in the former.

posted by Howard_T at 05:25 PM on June 15

I thought we were talking about maturity in life

Well, I've already said I don't believe James' maturity to be an issue. Don't get me wrong, he's made bad choices. He could have benefited from a couple of years in college under a strong coach. But again, I doubt his ego is that different from a lot of star athletes. They simply hide it better. If james would simply start shutting up instead of lashing out, his problem off the court is solved.

I doubt Nowitzki would start kicking basketballs and throwing around exercise bikes today. Lebron can still change.

Joe Pos on the hate. Sums my feelings up pretty well. He's fun to hate, just don't take it so seriously.

Any article that quotes the nature boy is awesome. But when he writes this:

But in the end, it seems to me, none of this is about HIM. We like and despise, root for and against the CHARACTER we know as LeBron James. The person, LeBron James, we don't know anything more than a ghostly image and never will.

he's spot on, but it amazes me that has to be written. James has had his problems in the spotlight, but I have no idea what he's like off the court. I have no idea how mature he actually is.

We have athletes that seem to be far more humble than James over their career (favre, jordan) that eventually show their true sides. You never know. Except for clemens. Definitely an ass.

posted by justgary at 05:37 PM on June 15

... I have no idea what he's like off the court. I have no idea how mature he actually is.

Yes, you do. You've seen him deal with the press. You've seen other off-court actions he has undertaken, such as the Decision and the preseason celebration. That's only a facet of his personality and character, but he's hardly a blank slate.

People don't just dislike LeBron for the fun of creating an NBA villain. He was more liked than disliked in Cleveland. He's earned some of the animus through the way he left Cleveland and the things he's done since then.

My hunch is that the hate train will derail now that LeBron and co. have paid some dues. The idea he could be rewarded immediately for the Decision was too much for collective NBA fandom to take.

posted by rcade at 06:29 PM on June 15

Yes, you do. You've seen him deal with the press.

We'll have to agree to disagree. All I know about James is how he acts in the spot light. And he obviously handles it badly so far. Behind closed doors, I have absolutely no idea.

posted by justgary at 06:44 PM on June 15

I agree that within a year or two, maybe less, we'll be cheering for Lebron again. That tantalizing talent is too much for the hate to withstand.

Nice to see them eat some crow and get used to understanding that the championship is going to be a bit harder than presumably expected, but that bandwagon has a lot of room on it. First will come the contrarians - who must adopt a position counter to the popular lest they implode, then will come the moderates and basketball fans who love a great team, lastly the followers who wait for the above two groups to decide first.

And the world will still spin at the same rate every day.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:30 PM on June 15

I am just glad that LeBron has joined Barry Bonds and Terrell Owens as subjects likely to pull 100+ comments. Imagine if LeBron and Bonds adopted a child together and forced him to pray before games with the other kids in a public school before beating a team of retarded kids 127-1. This shit would blow up.

posted by holden at 01:06 AM on June 16

I imagine that while Lebron may be on a lot peoples shit list (as far as basketball) he has definitely got to be David Sterns favorite player. The biggest NBA off season story was Lebron's free agency, and the decision. The season starts with Miami in the spotlight, an awful lot of attention, news coverage, promotion and culminates with the highest rated finals in 11 years. Love him or hate him, Lebron James was probably the most underpaid player of the year, considering how responsible and instrumental he was in the NBA's success this year.

Is it possible that the decision, celebration and statements made in Miami that were not just an arrogant group putting their feet in their mouths or was it a clever and calculated marketing plan to create the Rick Flair of the NBA and revitalize a lot of interest the league. Favorite teams are something everybody has so creating more fans in Miami really helps the Heat, but creating a team every other teams fans can love to hate, certainly does more for the league and the business of NBA Basketball. I am not saying a planned conspiracy just pondering how good at business those who run the show are. Is the success just the luck of random uncontrollable circumstances or is some credit due somewhere for what could be perceived to be a brilliant business move for the league.

More than any other player, if you consider a basketball player's job and what he is actually getting paid to do, which is to put fans in the audience, which allows the league to sell, tickets and advertising,nobody did that job better than Lebron James regardless of his perceived successes or failures on the basketball court, or in the court of public opinion.

posted by Atheist at 11:13 AM on June 16

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