Charles Barkley is Right About LeBron James

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time defending LeBron James over the years. Lately he’s been bitching about wanting more playmakers on the Cleveland Cavaliers. I think it’s just a ploy to stir up dust, something he seems to do just about every January (the last couple of Januarys) to light a fire under his team. No harm, no foul.

Charles Barkley said that LeBron is whiny; I agree.

“Daddy” (The Cleveland Cavaliers) told the child (LeBron James) he can’t have his toy. LeBron, who has a house full of toys, runs crying to “mommy” (the media) saying that “daddy” doesn’t love him. “Mommy” and “daddy” fight when the toy store worker (Charles Barkley) pipes in and implores the “daddy” and “mommy” to act like adults. “You spoiled that child and now he’s a whiny brat”, Barkley the toy store worker emits. “How many toys do you need kid?” And now the child is running to “mommy” saying that the mean man hurt his feelings. Just imagine what all the other parents (teams) and children (players) are thinking.

In all seriousness, why do we now have a society where the criticizer dishing out soft criticism is dubbed a ‘hater’? I’ve wrote about this in the past. I despise that word and I can’t help but view people saying it as childish or downright mentally ill-by-choice.

LeBron went on to Google some lurid facts about Barkley’s indiscretions and brought it to light. You can tell just how offended ‘Bron was/is, just by how emotional he is about it. He might just be the most thin skinned star in NBA history.

Kevin Durant Joining the Warriors is Hilarious to Me

I never touched on this subject when Kevin Durant bolted from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the star studded Golden State Warriors.

But I have to, now, because it’s hilarious to me!

Back in the summer of 2010, I defended the hell out of LeBron James for ditching the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. LeBron was a molecular structured villain for the majority of his four year stint in Miami (especially the first two years). When he left in the summer of 2010, a lot of people placed Kevin Durant on a pedestal and anointed him for how “loyal” he is/was. Even back then, I was smirking and having to stop myself from laughing my ass off at sports fans’ ignorance and the false notion of loyalty in professional sports.

I was always in the Bill Simmons’ camp (2008-2010) of referring to Durant as the future former Oklahoma City Thunder. I never thought that franchise would build the correct pieces around him to get him to stay, but then they drafted Russell Westbrook in 2008 and James Harden in 2009, while Serge Ibaka officially became a member of the Thunder in 2009. The team made a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2011 and ultimately made the NBA Finals in 2012 before being ousted by LeBron James and the Heat in five games.

After that, the train came off the rails. The Thunder decided to keep Serge Ibaka over James Harden (rather than paying Harden a max contract) by sending Harden to Houston, and then injuries to both Westbrook (playoffs/2013) and Durant (2014 and 2015) hampered the team. In the playoffs this past season, the Thunder were primed to capture a title! They had the 73-win Golden State Warriors on the edge of being kicked off the cliff with a 3-1 Western Conference Finals series lead, and the Thunder ensuingly shit the bed and blew three consecutive games to the Warriors.

Durant signed with the Warriors in the offseason, and now he’s the biggest villain in the NBA right now. Once again, it’s hilarious to me, after everybody praised his loyalty back in 2010 when he signed a new contract with the Thunder. He didn’t have to leave the Thunder, y’know? That team was ready to contend and face the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals for years to come, and he bolted!

I’m not mad at Durant; I don’t even dislike Durant. Hell, I’m actually excited for the upcoming season, because it’s going to be incredibly entertaining watching the Warriors play! They are officially the new villains of pro basketball, from Durant to that donkey-looking son of a bitch Draymond Green, the President of Dirty NBA Play, leading the charge! It’s going to be exciting — and amusing — watching detractors become enraged when the Warriors win and elated when they lose.

Oh, and the NBA title is not a ‘gimme‘ for the Warriors this season, either, despite their star studded lineup. They lost key pieces in Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut. Also, the 2003-2004 Lakers didn’t win the NBA title despite their lineup of Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Shaquille O’Neal! Even the Heat failed to win a title their first year together during the LeBron-Wade-Bosh years.

The only thing I’m annoyed about are sports fans who live, breathe and die by the notion of a loyal professional athlete. Just sit back and enjoy the game, folks. Just be a basketball fan and have some fun.

Now, here’s some Kurtis Blow!

Michael Jordan was not Perfect; He Bitched and Whined, too, Just Like LeBron James

All the great ones bitched at referees a time or two (as in 2,000 times). Larry Bird used to drop the word, “motherfucker!” a lot. Don’t let Magic Johnson’s smile fool you — he might have complained to the refs more than anybody in the history of basketball!

Anyway, there’s this sense among NBA fans today, probably new[er] ones that haven’t studied the history of basketball, that believe Jordan never whined to refs like the way LeBron James does.

Y’know, when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls lost to the Detroit Pistons every year from 1988 to 1990 in the playoffs, Jordan exploded, verbally, all over the Pistons’ “dirty play”. Imagine if the internet and social media had been around back then. People online would have been delivering the same shit they give LeBron to Jordan. And it’s funny, because if you ask older dudes who grew up watching Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain play, they’d tell you that either they or their peers shunned the thought of considering Jordan a great until it was inevitable not to.

A lot of people put MJ on a pedestal. He’s my all-time favorite basketball player since he’s the athlete that got me hooked to the sport in my childhood, but he was not infallible. He was not immune to being flawed. Basketball fans today look into the lore of basketball and pick out what they want to hear and disregard facts. Why?

LeBron Detractors, You Do Realize He’ll Be Back, Right?

The city of Cleveland doesn’t deserve an NBA title, but if LeBron doesn’t opt out of his contract this summer, and he decides to return, LeBron will be back. You detractors know that, loud and clear, correct?

LeBron can realistically play until he’s 40 or 41 years old. Barring injury, of course. That’s another 10 or 11 years in the Association. Before you scream, “Troy, you are fucking nuts!”, listen… his game is built to subsist. He’s naturally a deferrer; a pass-first player. One of the reasons I believe his detractors get so angry is that he’s not a score-first player. They want to see him play in the same vein as a Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, shooting guards. But he’s more of a point forward, a Magic Johnson type of player. He’s a freight train at what? 250 lbs.? He could score at will if he really wanted to, and he was very aggressive in the NBA Finals (because he had to be!), but that’s not his style.

Because he’s a natural deferrer, a pass-first player, and the fact that he’s generally well liked among players in the league and not seen as an arrogant me-first guy (Kobe), players around the league will flock to wherever LeBron is to chase a title, and then detractors will cry about it online and claim that he “can’t win without help” even though none of their basketball heroes won “without help”, either.

Damn it, I’m a Celtics fan and a Spurs apologist and shouldn’t even be defending LeBron, but because there’s so many ignorant dunces spewing nonsense about LeBron, one must play devil’s advocate, no?

Did the Warriors Luck Their Way to an NBA Title?

Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors for winning the NBA Finals last night. I’m glad they won; once again, I feel like the city of Cleveland does not deserve a basketball title after the way they acted from 2010 to 2014 over LeBron James.

Mark Jackson should get an NBA ring. From the moment Steve Kerr started Andre Iguodala (Finals MVP), the Warriors went on to win three games in a row over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kerr used Jackson’s lineup. I still feel that he was unfairly booted out of Golden State. I reckon it’s because Jackson is religious man and was coaching in the most liberal place in all of America — the bay area in California, and the franchise merely didn’t care for his ideals. People liked to say, “Jackson wanted too much control within the organization!” Kerr doesn’t? Warriors fans should be lining up on their knees with their lips ready for Mark Jackson, because his lineup constructed this NBA title for Kerr and their pro basketball team.

The Warriors definitely caught a lucky break. They played a one-man team in the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs since Jrue Holliday was out. They played a Memphis Grizzlies team that was hobbled by injuries (and Mike Conley missed two games). They played a Houston Rockets team that shouldn’t have even been in the Western Conference Finals (the Los Angeles Clippers choked). In the NBA Finals, outside of game one Stephen Curry and Co. never had to worry about Kyrie Irving.

Imagine if Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder had made the playoffs. Sure, the Clippers would’ve likely survived round one, but Westbrook would have had Stephen Curry’s ass on a platter.

All in all, I’m not too impressed by the Warriors’ Finals win. I picked them to win in 5, even when Kyrie Irving was expected to play. Without Kyrie, they should have swept the series. Without LeBron James, that Cavs team is a 19 win squad. They were abysmal even with Kyrie Irving. Kevin Love? The Minnesota Timberwolves were atrocious even when he was there! By the way, if Love leaves Cleveland, while LeBron is still there, he’s a molecular structured idiot. The Cavs — with LeBron — will be back and they’ll win titles, despite how I feel that the city of Cleveland doesn’t deserve one in the realm of basketball. I digress.

Too bad Kawhi Leonard shit the bed and the San Antonio Spurs choked against the Clippers. So much happened in the west that paved the way for the Warriors to earn a title. In the end, it was basically the Warriors vs. themselves. Of course, they came close to choking the series away to Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith. Can I get a, “LMAO!!!” out of that? Heh.

By the way, seven years ago on this day — Tuesday, June 17, 2008 — the Boston Celtics won their 17th NBA title. Damn, I miss the summer of 2008. That was a great summer, and a great year, to boot!

Irrational LeBron James “Haters”

I wanted to write “detractors” in the title. I prefer that word over the overused cliche that is now “haters”.

LeBron could finish his career going 4-6 (just a random projection; I don’t actually see his teams losing that many) in the NBA Finals and he’d still be dubbed a top 5 player in basketball history (I already consider LeBron a top 3 player — my top 3 looks like this: 1.) Michael Jordan, 2.) Magic Johnson, 3.) LeBron) by most sane individuals.

When it comes to basketball, so many people are obsessed with historical perspective. Game by game. It’s not nearly as bad as how fans react to certain NFL players (read: quarterbacks). I’ve read on message board forums about how, “if LeBron falls to 2-4 in the Finals, this fucks his legacy up”.

Ah-uh… hello? Take a gander at the NBA logo. Jerry fucking West. “Mr. Clutch”. In his first nine trips to the NBA Finals, his record was 1-9. Yeah, LeBron falling to 2-4 in the Finals really fucks up his personal legacy. Idiots.

If LeBron had played like Stephen Curry the other night, the media and detractors would have shit on him. It’s true. Look back, four years ago, at the 2011 NBA Finals. LeBron gagged. I hardly see any people banging on Curry. Why is that? Even though LeBron has erased much of his villainous reputation (I preferred LeBron being a villain; made things more interesting with so many angry folks denouncing him), he still gets flack from short-sighted detractors.

“He’s a media darling!” So what? It’s 2015. We have 24/7 news cycles running rampant. Social media is king. Everybody is trying their best to push their voices out there first. If the world had been like this in the ’80s and ’90s, the same thing would have been happening for guys like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. So what? One of my friends is constantly whining about ESPN slobbing on LeBron’s knob. I tell him what I tell everybody else — turn off the TV. I do. ESPN annoys the shit out of me (narcissistic SportsCenter anchors that are obsessed with themselves and believe they are bigger than the show).

Back to the original point — if (or when) LeBron falls to 2-4 in the NBA Finals, that doesn’t affect his legacy whatsoever. None of his teams have ever been close to the championship teams Jordan had in the ’90s. Do you realize that when LeBron bolted for Miami, Dwyane Wade was already out of his prime? That’s when Wade was in the midst of his deterioration with his knees. Chris Bosh? I always feel that Bosh was/is better than what fans/the media give him credit for, but oftentimes he was wildly inconsistent, never had an amazing post game and hardly ever a phenomenal defender. Jordan won his titles alongside a Scottie Pippen that was undoubtedly in his prime, and in the later years, Tony Kukoc (who at one point was the best European baller in the world) and Dennis Rodman (who’s going to be in the hall of fame soon). Yeah… ‘Bron had shitheels like Larry Hughes, Daniel Gibson, Donyell Marshall, Joel Anthony and Norris Cole.

“LeBron had to leave to join other stars!!!” Do you dipshits realize that Michael never had to, because he was delivered Scottie Pippen? Do you dipshits realize that Magic Johnson walked into the league and had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Norm Nixon? James Worthy right after that?!

An addition to the Michael argument is, “Well, Michael had to wait a few years for Pippen!” Yeah, whoop-de-do, MJ played three seasons before Pippen. In LeBron’s fourth season, he led that shit squad of a Cavs team to the Finals over a veteran Detroit Pistons team that was tougher than nails.

“But LeBron is supposed to elevate everybody else!” Oh, boy. That’s even dumber shit. Imagine if social media and the internet had been around in the late ’80s, especially ’88-’90 when the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons were making Jordan their bitchboy. Jordan whined to the league about the Pistons’ tactics and NBA rules were changed on the defensive front for Michael. MJ, being title-less at the time, would have been BLASTED by sports fans.

I consider Michael Jordan to be the greatest basketball player ever, but he was not without fault or struggles. Too many young guys hop online, who’d never watched Jordan play or even understand his struggles in a historical context, rush to those, “But Michael never…” statements when detracting from LeBron. It’s silly. Appreciate basketball. Appreciate the game. Stop fucking around with non-sequitur arguments.

Short-Sighted Sports Fans, 2 Games of an NBA Finals Indicates NOTHING!

The NBA Finals is tied at two games a piece. The Golden State Warriors played like dog shit last night, festered up a comeback bid late in the 4th quarter, forced overtime and the downtrodden Cleveland Cavaliers squeaked out a win. Two observations:

— Two games into the Finals does not give any information about the rest of the series.
— If the Cavs were to somehow win this NBA Finals, even the most staunch LeBron James detractors would have to consider him in “greatest of all-time” discussions because this Cavs team (without Irving, Love and Varejao) is just a little bit better than that 2007 squad with Daniel Gibson, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden and Donyell Marshall (wutdafuark?!)

So many people are yellin’, “It’s ah-uh series now!” That remains to be seen, but please, NBA fans, don’t hurry to rush to an opinion about this series, because let’s take a gander in the recent (15 years) past.

— Allen Iverson and the 2001 Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers in game one of that year’s Finals. The Lakers then went on to bend the Sixers over, winning the title in five games.

— The 2006 Dallas Mavericks were up 2-0 on the Miami Heat in that year’s Finals. People were ready to sign off on the Heat until — whoa! — the Heat won four games in a row to win their first title.

— The 2011 Dallas Mavericks/Miami Heat series saw the Heat up 2-1 after three games in the Finals, and nearly up 3-0 before the Mavs scored a close win. Yeah… the Mavs won three in a row when people were ready to shit on them.

— The 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder were up 1-0 against the Miami Heat and people were jacking their jerky. The Thunder didn’t win another game in that Finals.

— Just last year, the 2014 NBA Finals, after two games the Heat and the San Antonio Spurs were deadlocked at 1-1 and everybody, everywhere, on social media were sittin’ pretty on the idea that it was going to be a competitive Finals. The Spurs proceeded the blow the Heat out three games in a row to win the FInals.

Please stop taking rash observations.

If Kyrie Irving were playing, I’d be keen on the idea of a six or seven game series, but yeah… if you think that Aussie Matt Dellavedova is going to hold league MVP Stephen Curry to 2 of 15 from the arch again, then you better wake up and apologize for dreaming of that scenario.

The Cavs are not going to win the NBA Finals with Iman Shumpert (a guy that cares more about his shitty flat top than improving his overall game), JR Smith and Matt Dellavedova (the name sounds like he’d be a good CEO of a French onion dip company). They’ve become a formidable defensive front thanks to Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson, but….. offensively, they are underpowered. LeBron James is more of a giver than a taker; he defers. He’s having to score and be a bit of a ball hog, which isn’t his style.

Now, if the Cavs do miraculously win this Finals, regardless of how you feel about LeBron you would have to include him in “GOAT” talks. I wouldn’t bank on that happening, though.