Immediately after game four, sportswriters everywhere have been cranking out articles glamorizing LeBron’s psychological victories against the Wizards. Many of the usual suspects, including Washington DC’s own Michael Wilbon, have joined in the fun.
Yes, there is trash talk flying everywhere and yes, LeBron has been on the winning side of things lately. In the NFL, winning can turn Randy Moss into a good teammate and Ray Lewis into a great guy. The same is true in the NBA, apparently, where winning can put you on the right side of things, especially when your nickname is The Chosen One and even AP articles refer to you as King James. Sportscasters will demonize and ridicule trash talk from Stevenson, Gilbert, and Haywood (Barkely, every single sportscaster on EPSN, Stephen A. Smith, etc.). Yet they will take trash talk or some other jerky behavior from LeBron and interpret it as some kind of cutting-edge psychological technique that demonstrates LeBron’s true competitive genius.
What these talking heads are really doing is actually promoting cheating or bad behavior as some kind of virtue. LeBron started the feud with Stevenson by trashing him to Drew Gooden. LeBron elbowed Andre Blatche in the face and started a fight with Brendan Haywood at center court. LeBron talks trash. LeBron shamelessly takes advantage of the special LeBron-only rules regarding traveling and charging as he lowers his head and blindly bull-rushes his way to the basket when his jump shot is failing him. And when he is called for a foul, LeBron has the gall to complain and whine about it. If somebody gave me a fifty dollar bill out of the blue, I wouldn’t whine and complain that they should have given me a hundred dollar bill. Dude is just spoiled.
Below is an exchange between Mike Wise, a DC area reporter, and David Stern. This conversation was televised on Comcast before game three of the series. I heard about it through the grapevine, but I wasn’t able to locate the actual clip on the internet. The best I could do is find a kinda-transcript from a DC area sports blog,
David Stern was on Comcast before the game talking with Russ Thaler and Mike Wise of the Washington Post…who was hitting him with some hard questions, albeit halfway in jest….such as:
Why does LeBron travel worse than Patrick Ewing in the 80s? Laughing non-answer. Or….
Why do superstars get calls? Evidently Stern can prove that this is not true with statistics, but doesn’t have the time….yeah riiiight.
Nice. So the best Stern can do is laugh it off (awkwardly, I’m guessing) and refuse to acknowledge the question? That’s pretty telling. The way I see it, he got called out and was essentially rendered speechless, even in a friendly, half-kidding environment. He might as well have said: “Well Mike, because that’s the way the NBA like$ it. And because I am absolutely unwilling to do anything about it…that’s why.”
If anybody has this clip or an actual transcript, please email it to me. I’d love to see David Stern squirm with my own two eyes.
This is a fact – if every player in the NBA acted like LeBron James, the league would degenerate into a technical foul-ridden joke and everybody would be asking why the NBA is such a classless pile of crap. Or the league would degenerate into a no-holds-barred slugfest where fouls are never called and everybody would be asking why the NBA is such a classless pile of crap. Either way, David Stern should probably consider the long-term ramifications of allowing this LeBron-related bullshit to go down game after game, series after series, year after year.