Yep, this is another tale about possibly the most arrogant professional athlete in the world--LeBron James. I mentioned in my previous post how much I think LeBron is all about LeBron. He's not about his teammates. He's not about his coach. He's not about the league. He's not about the fans. He's about him. Plain and simple. The fake picture taking, the chalk throwing, the scowls, the frowns, the complaining, the nail biting, the crying, the histroinics, the postgame pressers. Everything. It's always about LeBron. Sure, I believe he wants to win an NBA championship. And if he does, he'll acknowledge the fans and his teammates and his coach and his owner and his general manager, but you know, in the back of his mind, he's thinking: "This trophy is for me because I deserve it." And there will be some truth to that statement when he gets to make it to himself. Certainly, any LeBron James championship team is undoubtedly a winner, in large part, because of his talents. But still, it will always be about him. He's an egomaniac, and even the most fervent Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James supporter would have to admit that.
Is it all his fault? I won't say it's all his fault. But it's mostly his doing. He could always take a new tack. Part of the problem is THIS IMAGE from his days in high school. But the largest reason I find him almost utterly unlikable is because he always needs to be the center of attention. He's like the middle child of the NBA, except that despite the fact that he's getting all the coverage from the league and the networks, he still needs more. His ego has an insatiable appetite. And that would would be bad enough, except that he couples it with classless shenanigans, such as his actions after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic.
After the game ended, the first thing I thought to myself was: "LeBron isn't even shaking anyone's hand. He just walked back to the locker room." The media, of course, has grabbed hold of the story, and now it's national. I didn't need ESPN to tell me what LeBron did (or rather didn't) do. I saw it. And it cemented in my mind (and perhaps brought to the forefront of others) what I've always thought about LeBron James: He's a sophomoric, whiny, spoiled brat who's insanely good at basketball. It's a terrible combination.
Now, NBA commish David Stern wants to talk to LeBron about his walk-off. Stern isn't happy about what transpired. And I don't blame him. I give credit to Stern for wanting to discuss things with LeBron. I'll give him more credit if he publicly excoriates LeBron for what he did. It's unacceptable. What did LeBron have to say about it: "It's hard for me to congratulate someone after you lose to them. I'm a winner. It's not being a poor sport or anything like that. But somebody beats you up, you're not going to congratulate them on beating you up. That doesn't make sense." Hey, LeBron, you didn't win. You haven't won anything in your life. So guess what? You're not a winner. Yeah, 66 regular season wins is nice. The feeling of a ring on your finger is probably nicer.
How a player reacts in defeat, particularly a crushing loss, says a lot about who he is as a man and a person. This has nothing to do with basketball skill but about strength of character, about integrity. And LeBron showed he had neither in full supply after that game. Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post calls him out, but also gives him a pass, saying "It's LeBron James Gets It Right 299, LeBron Goofs 1." Wilbon's assertion there is ridiculous. Again, I think most of what James does is self-aggrandizing and self-promotional, so I would contend the numbers between LeBron Gets It Right and LeBron Goofs is much closer. But still, national media members who are usually in the tank for LeBron are now riding him.
And what has LeBron done since? He sent an e-mail to Orlando players apologizing and expressing regret. LeBron is 24 years old, but that kind of childlike move leads me to believe he hasn't matured socially or emotionally past 12. An e-mail? Seriously, LeBron? Is King James really an appropriate nickname?
But everything above is a prelude to this piece of hilarity. This is a remix of those Nike puppet commercials featuring LeBron and Kobe Bryant. One of the first commercials is pretty funny. But you should see the parody of the spot that someone put together, too. Absolute genius. The first clip below is the original commercial (listen for the crab dribble at the 32-second mark), and the second clip is the parody. Enjoy.