If you listened to the most recent episode of the Full Sass podcast, then you were treated to some unfettered access into my brain. Although I keeps it pretty #fullsass on a semi-regular basis, I said some stuff on Monday’s pod that were not meant for public consumption–things normally afforded for bars and living room conversations. But since the genie has been let out of the bottle, I may as well come out of the closet as a full-blown Lebron James hater.
Don’t get me wrong, the dude is one of the most incredible players to enter the league. I’m not one of those people who will dismiss his on the court accomplishments. Anyone who knows basketball has to admit that he is probably a top 5 player of all time, and his career isn’t even close to being over.
It doesn’t mean I have to like the man though. I don’t enjoy watching him play. I think his face is ugly. I think his shot is ugly (Frankly I’d much rather watch him make incredible passes than power through the lane, create contact, and then shoot free throws). I get it. Look at the man. He is a physical specimen, and powerful. HE SHOULD BE GOOD AT BASKETBALL!
I look at adults who say that Lebron is their favorite player the same way I look at non New Yorkers who tell me the Yankees are their favorite baseball team (which also happens to be the Lebron’s favorite team, but more on that later). I’ll be like “Yeah. Of course he is,” and then I usually end up tuning out anything they have to say about basketball.
Before you write me off as some hipster contrarian who only likes obscure players to flaunt my NBA fandom, let me say this: my dislike for Lebron has less to do with aesthetics and more to do with what he represents. To me, Lebron is like the Alex Rodriguez of the NBA. Both are prodigious, talented, hard-working individuals who hit the genetic lottery, but were also often chided (sometimes unfairly) for the robotic way they navigate through media relations.
Watch either player sit through a press conference, and you’ll notice that both men tend (ed) to give the same sort of innocuous/politically correct answers. Yet, despite meticulous attention to their brands, approval ratings and public persona, both managed to clumsily stumble at various points in their careers.
Fans in cities like Seattle and Texas felt alienated by Rodriguez’s large contracts which made it impossible to surround him with talent. This was right before he went to the most hated franchise in baseball. His legacy was cemented in stone once the BALCO story broke, and he was implicated along with other steroid users. If people don’t bring this up, they my allude to the time he tried to slap a baseball out of a player’s mitt as he ran down the base line.
Lebron’s fall from media darling status wasn’t nearly as drastic as A-Rod’s. He simply made a poor “decision” (lest we not forget that it netted the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland a nice sum of money–almost like a break up gift) that people don’t want to let go of. But unlike most of the Lebron haters, my disdain for Lebron has very little to do with “The Decision” but with the various shades of busterdom he has displayed throughout his career.
Exhibit A: Busters of A Feather
Consider Lebron’s best friends in the league are Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade. Carmelo over the course of the summer has proven himself to be an alright dude, but there is legitimate evidence that CP3 and D-Wade are sociopaths.
People got bent out of shape last Finals when Lebron’s balls got flicked (people called it a punch, but trust me if you were in a prison fight, there is no way you’d use Draymond Green’s method of attack to stave off your opponent), but Chris Paul’s dirty reputation goes all the way back to his days at Wake Forest when he punched Julius Hodge in the family jewels.
Wade himself broke Kobe Bryant’s nose during an All Star game, and he still to this day has no remorse for
purposely dislocating Rajon Rondo’s arm during the 2013 playoffs. Wade and Paul will do anything to win and don’t care if it is cheating, but only care if they get caught. This alone makes him suspect in my eyes.
Exhibit B: Dude is a Phony, and Low Key Corny
Anyone remember those old clips where Lebron would say some corny ass shit in the locker room huddle right before they hit the floor? There was something about his tone that always seemed disingenuous to me. Lebron has always had a way of saying exactly the right thing, but things always seemed off. Its like there is a telepromptor living inside his head 24-7.
Did anyone actually believed it when he basically told the media that any locker room he plays in is basically G rated conversation about business and family? He must be a faster player than we thought to the point where he can overhear and redirect any and all conversations that deviates into the NSFW realm? Give me a fucking break. He is teammates with J.R. “You tryna get the pipe?” Smith. There are at least 15 different conversations going on in a men’s locker room. I find it incredibly hard to believe that noone of these hyper-aggressive men have never once talked about women in way that was less than flattering. FOH with that BS Lebron.
I actually can only recall two occasions where I thought, damn maybe this man is human. One was the first championship he got in Miami, where he was dancing and getting hype on the bench as they had quelled the threat of RUN OKC (forever and ever amen), and the other was this past game 7 where he went full Michael Jordan mode, and bawled like a baby after the buzzer sounded. That was actually kind of cool.
Exhibit C: Dude is a Frontrunner
When Lebron first got to the league, he was invited to an Indians game by ownership, and homie had the gall to wear a New York Yankees cap. When questioned about it, his reply was, “Yankees are my favorite team and the Cowboys are my favorite football team..” No harm there. The Cowboys are America’s team so I understand how that can happen, and sure, those late 90’s Yankees teams were incredible, so I get that too.
Fast forward to this year’s baseball playoffs, and Lebron is all about the Cleveland Indians. OH WORDDDD????? If you think about it though, it makes sense. He leaves the Cavs for a better situation in Miami, and wins two titles there with his “Super Friends” crew. Then when they get demolished in the 2014 Finals and it looks like they may be too old to win another title, he bounces to Cleveland and forms another super team to help him get back to the Finals.
Exhibit D: What Does Lebron Really Stand For?
You hear all kinds of PR about the good that Lebron does the community of Cleveland–especially for kids– but anytime he has had a chance to leverage his massive influence he has said nothing. I’ll give the man credit for being an incredible businessman and bringing so many jobs and businesses to the “land”.
Yet,we heard nothing from him when 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by police for having a toy gun (think about it. This could have easily happened to a 12 year old Lebron, forver altering the history of the state of Ohio). We heard him say nothing about the other unfortunate killings of black civilians by police in his home state (an open carry state mind you), but sure enough, he publicly endorses the Clinton family, who during Bill Clintons’ years in office, helped create an environment in this country where blacks are criminalized (with the 3 strikes law and increase of private prisons).
This guy can’t even speak out about the Indians using and making money from merchandise using racist mascot Chief Wahoo (and if you think that this denigration matters not then you haven’t been keeping up with the events occurring in North Dakota). Lebron could use his platform to speak out against many injustices but Lebron only cares about what affects his bottom line and the legacy of his “kingdom.”
Those are just four small snapshots of instances where I feel Lebron has shown his busterish (at best) tendencies. I’ve already mentioned in past posts about how weak he was for crying about Draymond calling “him out of his name” and lobbying to get Warriors players suspended, so there is no need to revisit those incidents.
We could also talk about his most recent comments where he says that players team up so they can have a chance to beat him, or we could talk about his post 2011 Finals (following a loss to Dallas) comments in reference to his haters. I’m not going to come out and say the man is a full-blown buster, but he is definitely on the buster spectrum. I’ll gladly take rebuttals for anyone wanting to cape for the man, but I’d advise you to save it.
Because unless you are on his payroll, or he is on yours, he doesn’t give a shit what you (or I for that matter) think, and you know what, he probably shouldn’t. But this should not come as a surprise to all of you Lebron sycophants. These narcissistic tendencies have always been there;we all just ignored them.
Good Ass Games of the Week are below:
No Good Ass Games Scheduled
Houston at Cleveland
Los Angeles Lakers at Indiana
Sacramento at Miami
Utah at San Antonio
Golden State at Portland
Dallas at Utah
Portland at Phoenix
Boston at Cleveland
Oklahoma City at Golden State (Good Ass Game of the Week)
Portland at Dallas
Golden State at Los Angeles Lakers
Minnesota at Oklahoma City
Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio
Sacramento at Toronto
Portland at Memphis
Phoenix at Los Angeles
Buster(s) of the Week: NBA LEAGUE PASS. Having to part ways with NBA League pass was one of the most painful breakups I have experienced since I was in college. Whoever is in charge of digital content over at NBA media has never heard the axiom, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Last year’s version was way more user-friendly. This year’s version doesn’t include the Hardwood Classics option, and I’ve talked to at least a handful of people who also feel my pain concerning bandwidth and streaming accessibility. NBA LEAGUE PASS is a rip off. Unless you have a MAC, don’t get it. Save yourself the money, because it is not worth the frustration.
Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at FullsassStudios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org.