Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Fantasmagorical Mr. James

The Akron Hammer, The King, LeBron, he goes by many names. Up until recently, he had played at only one speed: faster than you. This eastern conference semi-finals match-up against the Boston Celtics has raised many questions however.

Perhaps LeBron is really, actually, really hurt. I just assumed, like many others, that he was 'hurt' but only enough to make himself seem mortal...take a little pressure off if you will. Now, if he comes back and leads his Cavs to the eastern finals, he battled through pain and fought back when everyone called him down and out! But perhaps that wasn't the case. Perhaps he was not manipulating the media for his benefit and he was actually just really injured. Perhaps.

Perhaps this supporting cast of his is as crappy and disappointing as every one previously. We already knew, and had confirmed again this year, that Mo Williams is no playoff hero. He shows up smaller than Carlton Banks. (Is it too late for Fresh Prince of Bel Air jokes? That show ended within the past decade....I think.) And what about the huge acquisition of Antwan Jamison? Well, since Wizards fans weren't exactly broken up about the departure, perhaps he wasn't as good as advertised. He now seems more like a guy who put up numbers for a bad team, rather than a star who can play as LeBron's second banana. 2010 Shaquille O'neal does not have to be addressed. Just know he's no 1995 Rik Smits. Delonte West and Anthony Parker are okay bench guys. Anderson Varejao is a good hustle player, a slightly poorer man's Joakim Noah. Who on this team other than the King can you see contributing to a league champion?

Perhaps LeBron isn't a winner. I am actually not in this camp. I still think it's too early to tell. He has already carried a team to the finals, and another two to eastern conference finals. And he is still only 25. The problem is, he's an old 25, a veteran 25. He has already played seven full seasons in the NBA. But I still don't want to address this one quite yet. Maybe if they lose game six in Boston by 28 points and he shows up small again this series, I'll consider it. But not yet.

If it isn't LeBron himself and if his injury isn't severe enough to effect his playing time, then isn't it time to find a new home? He has gone as far as he can with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I had always been under the impression that James would stay in Cleveland 'either way.' Either way means whether they won the title or not. If the Cavs took home the championship, 'how can LeBron leave a city like that??' He would turn into muscle for hire, moving from city to city trying to win the ring. That just doesn't seem feasible. He would never have a home. He would never be beloved by anyone. If the Cavs had lost, reasonably, in the finals, or the eastern finals in six or seven games, then 'how can LeBron desert Cleveland like that??' He gets so close but cannot reach the summit, so he bails and quits on the city? That would leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth. So I didn't see him leaving. But now, if they lose to this Celtics team with this Cavs roster, with his free agency looming, and so many more attractive locations available?

Just imagine him and Derrick Rose, with Noah running baseline to baseline for the next nine years in Chicago. Just imagine him and Dirk each scoring 33pts/game in Dallas. Just imagine him and Chris Bosh meeting up, wherever. And what if James does return New York to glory? Aren't all those options more appealing than another season of watching Mo Williams miss 18 footers?

I know more will go into the decision than just who his teammates will be. But I have a hard time believing he won't consider, as part of his decision, who his teammates are right now.

We are all King James packing a bag for greener pastures.


  1. I dont know if you heard Colin Cowherd discussing this, but I agree with his opinion. Lebron is the ultimate mogul, image conscious and all about the brand. Colin made the point that for him to have a bad game, and in the process showing the world how sucky his team is, allows him to leave Cleveland unscathed and ultimately boosts himself up. I dont think he tanked, but I do think he was having an off night, saw how no one was picking up the slack, and was like, this is it. I'm done here, I have to leave home. It made him sad.

  2. I don't buy that at all. He already knew that none of his teammates could carry the Cavs when he was off. He didn't need to examine that hypothesis in game five of a playoff series. If he is going to leave Cleveland because of lack of help, he didn't need prove how sucky they were.

    I could see him embellishing the injury to take pressure of himself early in the series, but not taking a back seat to his teammates to take pressure of his decision to leave. Those aren't apples and apples to me.