Straight Hate (Sketches of Busterdom)

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.

profile pic b mick  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 

RUN OKC: A Memoriam For The 2012 Oklahoma City Thunder


Watching the 2012 playoffs made me feel like I was witnessing the ascension of one franchise and their franchise player. I’d been keeping tabs on Kevin Durant since the year his Freshman year at UT and my time in Austin coincided. There was nothing that could convince me he wasn’t going to be a star in the NBA. By his third year, I’d concluded that not only was he my favorite NBA player, but my favorite NBA player of all time.

His first year in Oklahoma City was a rough one, the team lost often, but you could see the progress. Tickets were still cheap then, and there were still people in the city that had no idea there was a permanent NBA team.

When Pau Gasol’s put back bucket ended the 2010 season, there was no denying that the team and the city had embraced each other. 2011 brought more expectations, and the team did not disappoint. RUN OKC was born.

Even though the Dallas Mavericks dismantled the Thunder during key 4th quarter stretches in the Western Conference Finals, there was reason to be optimistic for the OKC boys. 2012 did not disappoint, and despite the beat down that was handed to the Thunder, it was still fun to watch what I thought was only the beginning of a budding dynasty in the west.

Little did we know that James Harden would force his way out of town by grabbing 80 Million to ball for Houston, and the following three seasons would be compromised by injuries to key players. But things were still innocent in 2012. It was one thing to hope for a trip to the NBA Finals. It was another thing altogether to watch it happen.

Once a team gets that close to winning it all, nothing is the same. Expectations change because the ceiling has been raised. Its like the first time you drink organic milk out of a glass bottle, or smoke really good weed after only trying Mexican dirt swag.

I feel like this year’s roster is on paper the most balanced squad that Sam Presti has ever assembled, but the 2012 was special to me for sentimental reasons. Three of my favorite college players of all time were on the same team in Royal Ivey (one of the nicest Longhorns on campus when he played there), Kevin Durant, and Nick Collison, and I’d seen Kendrick Perkins in his “Baby Shaq” days at Beaumont Ozen High School. James Harden wasn’t annoying yet, and Russell Westbrook was just coming into his own. They were a fun to team to watch.

The Starters on that team were:

C Kendrick Perkins

PF Serge Ibaka

SF Kevin Durant

SG Thabo Sefelosha

PG Russell Westbrook

The Key reserves:

SG James Harden

PG Eric Maynor

SG Daequan Cook

PG Derek Fisher

PF Nick Collison

Head Coach : Scotty Brooks

Regular Season Record: 47-19 Northwest Division Champions

After posting 47 wins in a lockout shortened regular season, expectations were tempered, but hopeful, that somehow the Thunder would at least make the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs were steamrolling opponents in the first 2 rounds of play, and it seemed inevitable that Oklahoma City was only cannon fodder for San Antonio on the way to their next championship parade (isn’t it crazy that there were almost 3 Spurs-Heat Finals Series?).

Kevin Durant and company had other plans however. Game 1 of the first round series foretold that the Thunder’s playoff run would be the revenge plot out of a basketball movie.

Mavericks got swept and the ghosts from the previous Western Conference Finals were exorcised.

Round 2 gave RUN OKC a chance to enact revenge against the soon to be LOL Lakers and Metta World Peace. Their recent run-ins had become testy at best, as the upstart Thunder had been giving the Lakers fits during the last couple of years. It was the young pups vs. the old dogs, and the biting had become less playful.

The Thunder were clearly faster, stronger, and better. The Lakers were just coasting on a dubious championship run (Denver and Orlando were talented enough to knock them out but they nutted up–and the refs had conveniently swallowed their whistles in the Lakers favor during a crucial stretch in game 7 of the 2010 Finals).

It was basketball justice to watch the LOL’s get that ass whupped–much like seeing a bully finally get what they deserve.

Round 3 against the Spurs was some of the best and worst basketball I’d seen during a WCF. There were stretches of incredible basketball, and there were times when I wanted to throw a shoe at the television.

Game 1 was probably the best game of that entire series from a pure basketball standpoint. There were so many OMFG plays that I went back and downloaded the game for whenever I needed to scratch that itch for “Hoops Porn”

The Spurs won that game and the next one, and with a 2-0 lead, the question wasn’t whether the Spurs were going to win it all, but were they even going to lose on their way to a title. The Spurs were 10-0 during the playoffs at that point, and had won 20 straight games going back to the regular season.

But RUN OKC had something to say about that and won 4 straight games, leaving San Antonio befuddled and confused, something I rarely saw from a Gregg Popovich coached team.

I was there when the Thunder clinched the West in game 6, and that was the loudest venue I’d ever been in at that point (Game 2 of the Finals’ volume would eclipse that night–and I hadn’t been to a Warriors game yet).

Game 4 of this series was the apex in my opinion, with KD scoring 36 in the game–18 of them in the final quarter. That shit was unreal to watch live.

This was the point where it was clear that my man was going to be a SUPER DUPER STAR, and everyone finally had to acknowledge it. It made for good cinema. Unfortunately in every good revenge movie, there is a foil, and the Thunder were about to face them.


Everyone remembers this:

and this.

Side Note: Is it just me, or does Lebron seem remarkably younger in this clips? He seems to have aged in the same ways that U.S. presidents age after a full 8 year term. I’m sure as great as those feelings were winning those chips, I can’t even imagine the stress he has faced in taking on that challenge.

I was very happy for Dallas Mavericks fans when they were able to deny the Miami “Lebrons” a title in their first year together. If you enjoy schadenfreude, then watching Jason Kidd whip the ball around to Dirk who whipped the ball to Jason Terry for open shots was enough to make a person giddy–or if you like watching grown men cry. The Heat losing that finals was their reward for doing everything the “wrong way”.

They were the perfect foil to the OKC Thunder and their (rightly or wrongly) choir boy personas.

As much as I wanted to see KD get that ring, they were just outmatched. Scotty Brooks was outcoached (not for the last time) and when Harden wasn’t on the court, it was a 2 on 5 offensive game, with way too much isolation play. This played right into the Heat’s hands who were smothering on defense.

Oklahoma City wasn’t ready for what the Heat had for them. Brooks had no adjustments for the series, and after game 2, it was clear that the moment was a little too big for OKC (especially Harden who had a terrible Finals).

Game 1 was a misleading blowout in the Thunder’s favor, and although Game 2 could have easily been won (terrible no call in the final seconds on a foul by Lebron), OKC had trouble achieving any sort of offensive flow. I was in the stands that night, and what should have been an enjoyable experience, only left me frustrated and hoarse from screaming so loudly.

3 games later, the series was over. The Thunder had their best chance to reverse their fortunes in game 4, but the person keeping them in the game, also contributed to the most devastating play in crunch time.

It was over just like that. Grown men were once again crying.
Others were basking in their redemption.

But everyone knew that this wasn’t the end. There was still another run for RUN OKC right? This only seemed like the part of the basketball movie where the team bonds during off-season workouts and then come back to face the villainous bad boys in a rematch and take the title from them.

But we know what happened next don’t we? No reason to go into all that again. There are countless columns by former ESPN employees that do this ad nauseum. I will say that I feel like I got robbed of my Hollywood ending–kinda like watching a movie for 2 hours at the theater and the projector craps out right before the climax.

It is hard to call a team that makes the NBA Finals losers. OKC got a taste of the good life. People started visiting Oklahoma City for reasons other than seeing the Bombing Memorial.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are two of the most marketable players in the NBA (and let’s not forget that Harden is at least 280 million dollars richer since missing that crucial breakaway dunk in game 4 of that finals).

Yes, it is hard to call a team that has had such success for the past five years, losers, but each season preceding 2012 has been increasingly frustrating.

Unlike the 2013 Spurs who redeemed themselves after a heartbreaking Finals loss, with an even better roster that demolished the Heat (and destroying any need to write a requiem for that team),each season since 2012 has been increasingly frustrating for the Thunder.

Russ got hurt the very next season to a team that wouldn’t have made the playoffs if not for James Harden. Ibaka was hurt the year after that and they watched the Spurs advance. And of course KD broke his foot twice last year. Is this the “Curse of Daniel Plainview“–the Sonicsgate Curse?

Or is it just a series of increasingly bad decisions?

OKC should be odds on favorite to come out of west if they are healthy and all of this may be forgotten. The bottom could fall out just as easily though, if KD and Westbrook split for greener pastures. Then again, they could just as easily compete for championships for the next few years, while James Harden becomes the first player to play through being cursed two years in a row (the Khardashian curse is real).

Are we approaching an era where we see Oklahoma City-Cleveland series 3 years in a row (Golden State may have something to say about that)? I think this season will be the big fork in the road for Russ, Kevin Durant, and the Thunder franchise. If both KD and Russ end up leaving, people will point to this season as the fork in the road for everyone, but history might show that 2012 was the real turning point. We are only a week away from finding out.