There is only one team in the NBA
November 2, 2011 Leave a comment
Bill Reiter found today as good a day as any to secretly bash the galaxy’s best basketball by a wide margin.
The real victims in the NBA’s ongoing labor dispute aren’t the players, the owners or the fans.
I bet the real victims are all the unused basketballs!
They’re the Miami Heat.
Sweet jesus. A single team is the real victim of the NBA lockout? Let me guess, LEBRON CAN’T COME THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH!!!!111!!!!!!!1!
With the league missing its season-opening tip-off Tuesday, and no sense of when play might resume, it’s the Heat who have the most to lose. Their need to get back on the floor and begin to address their utter disaster in last summer’s Finals is so strong, the desire to try again so forceful, that Miami owner Micky Arison reportedly cost himself $500,000 when he expressed it on his Twitter account.
For the record, the highest payroll in the basketball league last year was Los Angeles Lakers, so they actually have the most to lose. And utter disaster? Do I have to call the hyperbole police? They didn’t lose in the first, second or third round of the playoffs or get swept in the finals, they didn’t just win 1 game, they lost the series 4-2. They destroyed the Eastern Conference in the playoffs and then ran up to Dirk Nowitzki, who was god-like in the finals.
In responding to a fan calling owners “greedy pigs,” Arison fired off this bit of candid brevity: “You are barking at the wrong owner.”
Which translates to a couple of things.
No. 1: The owners are indeed divided, with some — Arison clearly among them — ready to get a deal done and get back to basketball.
No. 2: The Heat in particular are feeling the call of the season because, more than any other organization, it is the one thing that might be able to heal all the ills stemming from last season’s series of follies, false hopes and madcap Finals implosion.
Are you just trying to see how many different ways you can refer to the 2011 NBA Finals? And it isn’t the Heat in particular, you don’t think that every team in the NBA wants to play the sport called basketball this season? You don’t think the Bulls and Celtics want to heal all the ills stemming from the absolute ass whooping that the Heat handed them in the playoffs?
LeBron James needs a chance to prove his incredible talent can be leveraged to overcome his now crystal-clear issues with closing out big games. His dismal June performance and fourth-quarter disappearing acts didn’t just cost his team a championship. They also undercut those who clung to the idea that LeBron’s past big-game moments proved his more recent, more worrisome forays into the land of choking superstar were the product of a mean-spirited segment of the media rather than, say, a problem with his game.
Ah ha! I knew we’d sneak Lebron in here somehow. Let’s play a game, Bill. This happens to be one of my favorites. Choose a player, A or B.
A: 28 PPG/8.4 RPG/7.0 APG/1.94 TO/Assist/43 MPG
B: 25.4 PPG/5.1 RPG/4.8 APG/1.62 TO/Assist/39.3 MPG
Who ya got for your playoff team? Player A? Me too. That is Lebron James, aka the best basketball player in the googlesphere (wiktionary it, you tard). Player B is… THE BLACK MAMBA, aka THE CLOSER, aka THE MOST OVERRATED BASKETBALL PLAYER FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS. But but but, Lebron, 4th quarter, clutchiness. Shut up.
LeBron is damaged goods. His brand burdened by The Decision and, a year later, The Disappearing Act, he now finds that only one thing will repair his image and make us forget his meltdown: a championship.
His image has only been tarnished because idiots like you rip him for exercising his right as a fucking free agent and refuse to look up statistics.
Making fun of himself and his futility as a player in order to sell French fries for a fast-food company is not exactly the stuff of Michael Jordan. The Chosen One has gone from trying to make himself into a modern version of “Be Like Mike” to making self-deprecating jokes that brand him as a good-spirited loser.
So, is this why the Miami Heat need to play so badly? Because this really just turned out to be a bash Lebron article, didn’t see that one coming.
Winning it all can change that narrative. But it’ll be really hard to do if there’s no 2011-12 season.
Same goes for those around him. Dwyane Wade is 29, the elder among a Big Three (Chris Bosh is 27, LeBron 26) that should now be playing together in its prime. Time is finite. Age and opportunity don’t wait for mediators, compromises or cooler heads.
All three stand to watch their window close if they lose this season, but Wade in particular has little if any time to spare. Smaller than the other two, Wade has an attacking style and relentless competitive personality that have added a lot of mileage to his body. Sooner or later — and certainly sooner than his teammates — he’ll begin to break down more often. His time, too, is now.
Every player stands to watch their window close if they lose this season, you moron. And people have been saying this about Dwayne Wade forever. Why wouldn’t it be good for his body to have some extra time off? Please, explain this to me.
Then there’s Bosh, who might need a season just to convince himself that he again belongs, socially as well as basketball-wise, among the team’s real superstars.
You know what probably keeps Chris Bosh up at night? Whether or not he is as cool as the other players on his team. Not the utter disaster that was the 2011 NBA Finals apparently, but that he doesn’t have as many Twitter followers as some others do.
Coach Erik Spoelstra certainly needs to get back to it. No one enters the next NBA season, whenever it might be, under a hotter seat. Despite some clear coaching problems in the Finals, I still believe Spoelstra can be the right guy for the job. His upside is huge, and LeBron’s June a possible point of leverage that could allow Spoelstra to exert more influence on his team.
Explain to em why Erik Spoelstra’s upside is huge. I’ll give you three reasons, or, three names. James, Wade, and Bosh. Lebron didn’t have to listen to Mike Brown, he sure as hell doesn’t have to listen to Erik Fucking Spoelstra.
Erik Spoelstra blah blah blah…
The Heat’s need is evidenced everywhere in Heat Nation.
That has to be the stupidest name for a group of people ever.
More stupid stuff follows, fans not the real victims, boring boring boring. Hey, haven’t heard about Lebron in a while…
It’s James who humiliated himself, let his team down in historic fashion and proved to anyone willing to look at it honestly that he was not equipped for the stage he found himself on.
It’s Wade, Bosh and all their teammates who went through an NBA season in which many, many people — former greats, current players, journalists, fans across the country — loved every moment of their struggles, and the end most of all.
It’s Arison who put his checkbook behind the hope for historic greatness, Riley who pulled it off and Spoelstra burdened with seeing it through.
It’s Heat fans who bet big on James and after a wild ride woke up broke, brokenhearted and angry.
It’s shitty sports writers who have one job to do, write insightful, well researched and thought out articles, and constantly do it poorly.
I’ll always be there to defend you, Lebron.