Tuesday, May 18, 2010

King Nothing

Just want one thing
Just to play the king
But the castle's crumbling
And you're left with just a name

-King Nothing, Metallica

No, I'm not about to compare LeBron James to Metallica. But if you've seen Some Kind Of Monster, you'll know that the egomaniacal douchebag factor is about even. Anyway, on to my point...

Yesterday I rewatched Game 6 of Celtics/Cavs to try and figure out what happened, exactly (and yes, maybe I was looking for telltale signs that Delonte West actually was banging Gloria James). What I discovered was that even though LeBron put up 27/19/10, he was so emotionally distant that his weak-minded team crumbled without his leadership. In the most important game of the year, The King threw a sullen bitch fit. And he spent such an inordinate amount of time tongue-lashing Mo Williams that for a second I wondered if Terez Owens had fingered the wrong teammate in MomGate. Granted, LBJ also ignored Delonte West entirely, choosing to sit as far away from him on the bench as possible. Appearing rattled and out of sorts, West performed terribly. But nobody played as badly as Antawn Jamison, who missed layups, turned the ball over and blew every conceivable defensive assignment. Yet James offered no words of support or encouragement for any of his struggling compatriots. No leadership at all. He just sulked. And sulked.

When I was seventeen I dreamed of being king and
Having everything I wanted
But that was long ago and
My dreams did not unfold so
I'm still the king of nothing

-King Of Nothing, Seals And Crofts

Yeah, Seals And Crofts. What?!?

Now, I don't agree with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's theory that LeBron needed more schooling to grow up emotionally. Dude's been in the league seven years now. And it's not like being the Big Man On Campus tempers an inflated ego (holla back, Christian Laettner). But that was straight up childlike behavior he exhibited out there in Game 6. The only thing The King didn't do is cry and take the ball home with him once it was all over.

I wear this crown of shit
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair

-Hurt, Nine Inch Nails

This king is not worthy of anyone's servitude. Futhermore, now would be an ideal time for his loyal subjects in Cleveland to examine their allegiance. Their leader just abandoned them when they needed him most. And now he's about to parade his ass around the league like some high-priced ho at All Star Weekend.

At least he'll have his puppet to play with. And the two-story closet for all of his shoes.

Kings lose crowns
But teachers stay intelligent

-Criminal Minded, Boogie Down Productions

Oh, and here's the real King James, btw. This guy actually accomplished some shit, like hunting witches and torturing innnocent people.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thunder- Latest Team Of The Future

Congratulations and hearty backslaps to the Oklahoma City Thunder (AKA SuperStolens, Zombie Sonics), the NBA's latest team of tomorrow. With an impressive showing against the defending champs, the Thunder staked their claim to being the squad that everyone's picking to win the title five years from now. Yes, the future looks bright for Durant and company.

The only snag is that the future never arrives. As Buckaroo Banzai once famously said, "Wherever you go, there you are." And where the Thunder are right now is home watching someone else compete for the title.

Think I'm being harsh? Ask the New Orleans Hornets about the future. Ask Greg Oden and the Blazers. Ask the Arenas/Jamison/Butler Wizards. Stuff happens. People get injured. Egos clash.

In 1997, Michael Jordan tabbed the Washington Bullets, a band of pups led by Chris Webber, Rod Strickland and Juwan Howard, the "team of the future." Yeah, that worked out well. A year later, C-Webb was shipped to Sacto, where he formed the nucleus of yet another champion-to-be (fittingly the runner-up in Ball Don't Lie's also-rans of the Aughts column).

Who can forget the promising triumvirate of Kidd/Mashburn/Jackson (The Big 3 In Big D- sounds like bad porn) supposedly being splintered by Toni Braxton? Y'know, Toni Braxton. Yeah.

After soundly thumping LeBron's Cavs in the Finals in '07, Tim Duncan consoled James by telling him, "Some day you're going to own this league." From a marketing perspective, Timmy was spot-on. Four years later, however, the King is still without his crown. Maybe that could change this year. Maybe not. The prodigious Orlando Magic, fresh off their own disappointing turn in the Finals, stand in their way.

And of course, waiting out West are the game's biggest clutch performer and its greatest coach. No, I'm not talking about Channing Frye and Alvin Gentry.

Spiritual and holistic types are constantly reminding us to stay in the moment. "All we have is right now." I prefer John Lennon's way of looking at it: "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans."

Pictured: Bullet Boys (sorry, no Kip Winger)