FanDuel - WFBC

June 22, 2012

Some guy led his team to win some championship in some sport.:
Oh, and that guy also won some individual award, too.

posted by grum@work to basketball at 02:07 AM - 35 comments

But I'm sure no one really cares.

posted by grum@work at 02:07 AM on June 22

I'm curious to see how the critics will attack LeBron James now that he's not only won a championship, but was easily the most dominant player of the entire playoffs, and put up an amazing performance in the title-clinching game.

posted by grum@work at 02:10 AM on June 22

Well, he's still a choad.

posted by hincandenza at 02:23 AM on June 22

Congrats, LeBron. Everyone loves you now.

posted by dyams at 03:34 AM on June 22

grum, this is how: 7 More To Go.

posted by apoch at 05:06 AM on June 22

I'm curious to see how the critics will attack LeBron James now that he's not only won a championship, but was easily the most dominant player of the entire playoffs, and put up an amazing performance in the title-clinching game.

They'll probably switch to the saying that he's only won one and trot out the list of players who've won multiples, including the inevitable Kobe and Jordan clincher.

posted by dfleming at 06:36 AM on June 22

Battier finally has a ring.

posted by beaverboard at 07:13 AM on June 22

Juwan Howard has a ring. Puuishhht.

(He ought to offer to pay for it).

posted by beaverboard at 07:22 AM on June 22

Battier finally has a ring.

Yeah, that one makes me happy.

Look at the Thunder's three other starters' stats:

Game 1: 9-17, 23pts, 14 reb
Game 2: 4-15, 14pts, 17 reb
Game 3: 8-18, 21pts, 19 reb
Game 4: 6-16, 13pts, 12 reb
Game 5: 4-15, 11pts, 8 reb

If you add that up, you get two baskets a game from each of Perkins, Sefolosha and Ibaka. To put that into perspective, Chris Bosh alone either matched or outscored the other three starters on the Thunder in 3/4 games he started.

Role players are great, but this is a team needs another guy willing and able to take and make shots to beat the Heat.

posted by dfleming at 08:15 AM on June 22

I'm curious to see how the critics will attack LeBron James now that he's not only won a championship, but was easily the most dominant player of the entire playoffs, and put up an amazing performance in the title-clinching game.

"Strike-shortened season. It's really only 4/5 of a championship."

posted by Etrigan at 08:27 AM on June 22

The answer: they weren't shortened playoffs.

posted by jjzucal at 08:36 AM on June 22

Did I really just type "The Answer?"

posted by jjzucal at 08:36 AM on June 22

"The playoffs weren't shortened, but the Heat still only played 89 games. That's barely out of the first round in a real season -- hell, the Warriors can win in the first round. Your true stars are shining after 100 games."

(For the record, I don't really care about basketball as much as I enjoy coming up with lines of debate. And James is, let's face it, one of the biggest non-criminal toolbags in sports today.)

posted by Etrigan at 09:09 AM on June 22

I think this win takes the air out of a lot of the LeBron criticism. The team he put together is on a great run. A ring shuts up a lot of people.

posted by rcade at 09:29 AM on June 22

Yeah, but his comments afterwards are the reason why many of us were rooting for the Thunder -- I am this, I finally did this, I worked hard -- instead of "we did this."

posted by bperk at 09:54 AM on June 22

Mike Miller! Wait, Mike Miller? How can a guy who runs like he is 80 years old not get completely taken advantage of on the defensive end?

posted by tron7 at 10:25 AM on June 22

A ring shuts up a lot of people

I doubt that.

His continual "I'm the greatest and most important" shtick has polarized sports media and fans everywhere. He's in the crosshairs and I expect will remain so for the rest of his career.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:37 AM on June 22

I am not a fan of Lebron the individual, but I have to give credit where credit is due. He played as well as anybody ever has in a playoff run. I do find it ironic that for all his complaints in Cleveland of not having help, he really didn't get all that much in this run. Bosch was hurt a lot, Wade was inconsistent, and had Lebron just played to his ability, like he did in this playoff run in his past ones in Cleveland, they would have won a title and he would have been the most celebrated player in the league and been adored by fans for bringing it to Cleveland. In the end he had to be the that guy who carries the team anyway. I always felt had Lebron just announced at the decision that he came to Cleveland to win them a title and would not go anywhere until he did, not only would he have won one anyway (as soon as his playoff performance stepped up) but even if he didn't he would have remained a fan favorite, not to mention just how much sweeter this would have been.

The guys like Battier and Chalmers were really the difference in the key moments more than the other big two. The Thunder appeared to have the better depth but evidently swallowing the bitter pill of defeat in the finals is the last lesson a lot of teams have to learn before they can get to the championship.

As much as I hated to see it happen, I can feel happy for a kid who managed to shake an incredible amount of pressure (albeit self inflicted in some ways) and get a monkey off his back. He is truly a remarkable athlete and deserves what he has finally earned.

posted by Atheist at 10:57 AM on June 22

The Thunder appeared to have the better depth but evidently swallowing the bitter pill of defeat in the finals is the last lesson a lot of teams have to learn before they can get to the championship.

The Thunder are definitely going to be back. That's a very young nucleus with a big three of their own in Durant, Westbrook and Hardin. They made a lot of mistakes that betrayed their immaturity, but they're a class team who learned a lot this series. They'll win at least a couple of championships before too long; all they really have to do is stay healthy.

posted by NerfballPro at 12:37 PM on June 22

"The playoffs weren't shortened, but the Heat still only played 89 games. That's barely out of the first round in a real season -- hell, the Warriors can win in the first round. Your true stars are shining after 100 games."

But the Bulls couldn't win in the first round.

The playoffs are a beast unto themselves. No one ever celebrates the regular season champions. Making it to the playoffs isn't as difficult as winning them (except in baseball).

His continual "I'm the greatest and most important" shtick has polarized sports media and fans everywhere.

To be fair, from the moment he appeared on the radar with his high school performances, the media (and the league) were the ones that started with "He's the greatest and most important" label.

posted by grum@work at 12:44 PM on June 22

I really had no beef with LeBron when he was a Caviler, but as Knicks fan I am obligated to hate him based on the uni wears. Oh yeah, and he is kind of a wanker too.

posted by Whizbang at 01:51 PM on June 22

the media (and the league) were the ones that started with "He's the greatest and most important" label

Agreed. But the media does that with most every talented young athlete and very few decide to wear it; fewer yet wear it out.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:41 PM on June 22

Who really cares?

He's a good basketball player but he will never have the class of a Michael Jordan.

posted by agwaurora at 02:55 PM on June 22

Which Michael Jordan are we talking about again? The one who was a dick to everyone less talented than him? The compulsive gambler? The "I won't play on the Dream Team if Isiah's there" Jordan?

Competitors and always classy are a rare combination.

posted by yerfatma at 03:40 PM on June 22

Yeah, the "Michael Jordan = class, LeBron James = ass" responses are really quite funny.

Agreed. But the media does that with most every talented young athlete and very few decide to wear it; fewer yet wear it out.

I can't think of a single athlete (other than Wayne Gretzky) who hasn't had problem with being labeled "the best", and I'm sure there are stories about Gretzky that haven't come out yet.

As well, the James haterade drinking didn't begin until "The Decision". If he doesn't do that, if he simply says in a press release that he's signing with Miami, I don't think anyone has anything truly awful to say about him. He was beatified in Cleveland for dragging that dead franchise into the spotlight.

posted by grum@work at 04:06 PM on June 22

Which Michael Jordan are we talking about again?

I thought he was referring to the poor white schlub in the ESPN commercials who sees disappointed faces wherever he goes because he's not who people think he is. It takes a lot of class to have to deal with that.

posted by NerfballPro at 04:07 PM on June 22

and I'm sure there are stories about Gretzky that haven't come out yet.

Watch it man, the can reject you Canadian citizenship for saying that

posted by Whizbang at 04:40 PM on June 22

As well, the James haterade drinking didn't begin until "The Decision". If he doesn't do that, if he simply says in a press release that he's signing with Miami, I don't think anyone has anything truly awful to say about him.

"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play?"

The Decision was something that James did long after he was labeled "the best" in high school. He had plenty of time, if not to actually become not a dick, then to hire someone to tell him, "Dude, dick move." He gets to own The Decision and its pompous douchebaggery for a while longer.

posted by Etrigan at 05:14 PM on June 22

Yes, "the decision" is probably the most misguided and ill-conceived event in an athlete's career that I can remember. So I guess I can understand why people would consider Lebron a selfish man. But anyone who watches basketball should be clear that he's anything but that as a player. He earned that ring.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:07 PM on June 22

I think the ship has sailed on LeBron James ever becoming a well-rounded adult with a reasonable ego. But his personality was only half the reason he caught so much grief. His failure to win a ring was the other half.

Now that he's done it, the on-court part of his life has no more glaring deficiencies. There will still be people who don't like him, but I think his bandwagon will take on a lot of new passengers before next season.

Before the Finals, ESPN polled users on who would win. Forty nine states chose the Thunder! Only Florida thought the Heat would be the champs.

posted by rcade at 07:29 PM on June 22

To be fair rcade, picking a younger, more energetic team with a potent offense didn't seem that wild a notion against a Heat team that had just barely eked out a Conference Finals victory over a battered, aged Celtics team. And after Game 1, it looked like the Thunder would romp... and then they got tentative, tossing up ill-conceived shots or making errant, sloppy passes.

And as I said after game 4, if the Thunder don't do that weird and infuriating letting-off-on-the-gas move in the fourth quarter of all their losses, just as they tied it up... they might easily have been up 3-1, or at least knotted 2-2, going into game 5. God knows they should have had the stamina! But as Athiest sagely observed above, perhaps the bitter pill of defeat is the last step before a team (the Thunder) can be a champion.

I know a couple of people on my Facebook feed who are some kind of johnny-come-lately Heat "fans", one of whom actually said "About time!". I reminded him the Heat won it all just six years ago. I don't think they realized that...

posted by hincandenza at 09:26 PM on June 22

To be fair rcade, picking a younger, more energetic team with a potent offense didn't seem that wild a notion ...

True, but do you really think that explains 49 states going Thunder?

posted by rcade at 09:41 PM on June 22

No, it explains a good 25-30+... the rest just hate "The Decision", its inherent narcissism, and ESPN's partnership in overhyping the Heat as a team of destiny.

posted by hincandenza at 10:38 PM on June 22

explains 49 states going Thunder?

Some possible explanations:

A. Heat barely got by the Celtics, who were banged up and missing some key players. They needed a few games with a 20ish advantage at the free throw line to win the series and were not extremely impressive.

B. Thunder looked really good adjusting and beating the Spurs who were playing great team basketball.

C. Virtually everyone thinks Lebron and most of the Heat are douchebags first and athletes second and thus vote with their hearts and not their heads.

The overwhelming majority voted C.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:59 PM on June 22

Vegas had the Thunder at the start of the series. Most of the analysts I saw had the Thunder as well but not at a count of 49-1. The Thunder just looked unstoppable in those last four against the Spurs. Game 1 too. It was frightening how quickly and easily they could make deficits disappear.

posted by tron7 at 02:30 AM on June 23

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