Sunday, July 26, 2009

LeBreezy, You're Doing A Heck Of A Job

Translation: "The ship be sinkin'."
Case in point:

Where should I start? Probably with the news that made the most headlines and waves across the sports world.

You guessed it, LeBron James got dunked on. He contested the dunk, and got it slammed all in his face. At his own training camp, the LeBron James Skills Academy. Wow. That's like somebody beating Tiger Woods at the Tiger Woods Golf Tournament. It's like Jay-Z being upstaged at his own concert (which very well could happen if Nas is a featured performer). Nobody likes it, but things happen. Every once in a while, someone gets one over on you. Allen Iverson crossed Michael Jordan up, and we all saw it. Remember?

They were both in the league, though. LeBron got embarrassed by a college student named Jamal Crawford. Yes, I said embarrassed. Why? Not because Crawford transferred to Xavier and therefore sat out the entire season this past year. Nope, that has nothing to do with it. Like I said, things happen and 'every dog has his day,' as the saying goes. He was embarrassed due to the way that he handled the whole thing. He reportedly had the tape showing this dunk confiscated by Nike personnel. Are we seeing a trend here? When does competitive spirit become unsportsmanlike and selfish bulljive? Hmm... At the end of his playoff run when he stormed off the court and refused to shake anyone's hand? Not only that, but he later gave an interview saying that 'he didn't understand' why he was expected to shake hands with those who had just defeated him. However, he seemed to have no trouble understanding or expecting those he had beaten to shake his hand on their way back home to watch the remainder of the NBA postseason on TV. Now, he has footage of himself getting dunked on confiscated. This is dumb for several reasons. First of all, we live in the information/technological age. Everybody's phones or other handheld devices have video capabilities and videos taken on these devices can be stored or sent in an instant. Anyone - and yes, that includes LeBron James - who thinks that he can somehow get rid of or confiscate any and all video footage of any event or occurrence which happens in front of a crowd of people in an audience is an idiot. Period. Secondly, these things are bound to happen if one plays basketball. Trying to hide it is like T.O. getting tackled and trying to have the hit edited out. It's like me walking around campus, tripping over something (maybe even my own feet - it happens) and then pulling a gun and swearing all passers-by to secrecy.

"Tell anyone I tripped, and I mean anyone, and I will put a hollow tip in your dome. Understand me? I mean it. Try me, you'll bleed!"

Make sense? Of course not. People will probably see it and laugh or talk about it for a few minutes. After that, it's pretty much over. But if you try to hide it, it becomes more of a story. This guy is taking the "King James" moniker bestowed upon him a little too seriously, is he not?
What, does he think that he is too good to be dunked on? If so, Jordan Crawford of Xavier put that one to rest. To make matters worse, LeBron actually has something to brag about in all of this. People get dunked on everyday. Every single day. 24/7, 365. They do not, however, get their names printed or remembered and Google searched like Crawford did. His buzz grew considerably. If I were LeBron, I would be saying something like,
"I'm the only guy you know that can get dunked on and make the other guy a household name. Behold the power of LeBreezy!"
He made a mountain out of a molehill by trying to cover the ish up. Dumb move. People were already getting over the LeBron honeymoon after he failed to reach the finals and live up to the muppets commercials.

It's four now, LeBreezy. Count 'em. One, two, three, FOUR! To your zero.
Plus he dissed the Magic after they beat him, as I mentioned above. Now this. Too bad it's not over yet. Now, LeBron's coming out with a book in which he admits to using marijuana and acting like a jerk in high school. His words. However, from what I can tell, his "jerk" days are far from over. LeBron recently paid a visit to my state. That's right. King James in all his glory and splendor came to Mississippi. Why? His teammate, Mo Williams, had a basketball camp here. Mo is a Jackson, MS native and played ball at Murrah High School. He does something for the kids every year, and this year he had a basketball camp that featured a highly-anticipated LeBron James appearance. Once again, as I have said in earlier posts, NOBODY famous really comes to Mississippi besides Morgan Freeman. Lots of celebs are from here, but they get the heck away. We don't spot or sight anyone famous or that we see on TV around here. So you can imagine that LeBreezy mania hit a fever pitch in Mississippi in the days leading up to his arrival. How'd it turn out? Like this:

Of course, a special shout-out and thank you to Scott LaPeer of Mississippi's WLBT Newschannel 3 for having the guts to speak up about this when many other people kissed butt and tucked tail.
Real men are standing up. It's about time. Let's recap for those of you who didn't or can't watch the video. LeBron comes through with his entourage and doesn't engage the crowd at all. He doesn't interact with the kids or even look at them very much. Instead, he took pictures with kids from each age group accommodated at the camp. So that it would look like he got around to many people, maybe? He then mingled and took pictures with those who had paid for VIP passes and whatnot to meet him. He spoke to the crowd for about a minute flat, and then did a shootaround which ended in an unenthused, anticlimactic dunk. No autographs or words of encouragement for the kids. He didn't even pick anyone up so that they could dunk. That's a must when you're playing basketball with kids. I do that with the neighbors and I'm not anywhere near the shape or skill of this guy. Here's an opportunity for one of my favorite NBA players to really do something memorable in the lives of so many young people who have no one to look up to, or at least not up close - and he blows it. All it takes is a little time, energy, and compassion. No money, probably not even any sweat. All we needed was for LeBron James to give a you-know-what. Obviously, he didn't. What gets me is that this guy acts as if he doesn't know that it's the FANS that made him who he is. If it weren't for adoring fans who are enthralled by this man's ability and kids who wanted to wear his jersey and beg for their parents to buy it, he wouldn't be a hot enough commodity to demand the amount of money that he does from endorsements. Yet he neglects to sign autographs? He'd better be glad that people want his autograph. I know a rapper that would probably kill to be asked for an autograph these days (hint: It's Murda!). The fans' adoration is a testament to the greatness and relevance of a public figure, relevance and greatness that celebrities' careers cannot survive without. I understand that celebrities often want their "space" and to be anonymous like normal individuals. They can't! Fame and anonymity cannot coexist. No one can be a public figure and a nobody. I understand that there are some drawbacks to public life, but when this guy signs contracts there are hundreds of millions of dollars... er, reasons that the advantages far outweigh the drawbacks. Fame and the requests and demands that come with it are a small price to pay, in my opinion, for such a privileged life. A life that is provided by the fans (either directly or indirectly) when you think about it. My advice to one of my favorite players is to grow up, grow some, and start acting like he cares about the people that he means so much to. If he doesn't, he may wake up and find that people just don't like him anymore. That has nothing to do with his skills, of course, but it will certainly dim the bright sheen of success already apparent in his career - not to mention the fact that it would decrease his overall popularity and therefore his jersey sales and endorsements as well. Thanks, LeBron. For arriving but never actually showing up. It's like going to a restaurant, paying for a meal, and not even touching the food. There's absolutely no point in making the trip at all. You could've stayed in Akron or Cleveland, on Jay-Z's nuts, or any other place you call home instead of screwing around with us. Once again, you are truly doing a heck of a job. Kobe's stock just went up in Mississippi big time. In fact, with all of Bron Bron's antics, I'd say it has risen tremendously at the national level as well. He knows his mama raised him better.