Sunday, July 18, 2010

Games, names, and LeBron James

Much has been made of the hour long special "The Decision," aired by ESPN in an attempt to turn LeBron James' next career move into a television spectacle. Most people seem to believe that this was an arrogant, stupid way to simply slap all of his Cleveland supporters in the face, while at the same time getting the hopes of all New York and New Jersey fans sky-high by making the announcement in Connecticut, only to spurn them for the chance to play with Dwyane Wade in Miami. And while people may be correct in their assertion that this was one of the most ego-centric, narcissistic moments by an athlete in the past 20 years, I think the real story is what it says about James the NBA player, not the person.

Maybe LeBron James just isn't all that competitive.

I wouldn't go as far as Dan Gilbert, who claims LeBron gave up against Orlando and Boston in the last two Cavs playoff exits, but would Michael have ever considered leaving Chicago in the early 90's if he were without a ring? Would he have said "I'm taking my skills to the Motor City" and just given up on beating the Pistons to join them instead? Of course not. The cliche "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" is not supposed to apply to the great athletes in the world. It should be "if you can't beat 'em, get better so next time you can beat 'em." Overall this is sort of a mockery of the whole league, and probably will result in a lot of fans tuning out next year. Sure I'll watch them for a few games, but I'm pretty sure it will be a quick descent into boredom with their games. I mean, there are only so many variations on the alley-oop.

UNRELATED: Apparently Nate Montana (son of Joe Montana) was arrested last night in South Bend along with a bunch of other Notre Dame athletes for drinking underage. I thought Notre Dame football players were immune from that sort of thing. I guess Irish football isn't as meaningful after 16 wins in 3 years.

ALSO UNRELATED: The Tour de France is in the Pyrenees. Absolutely brutal. I know most sports fans in the United States have no interest in watching professional cycling, but it's remarkably impressive how well some of these guys manage upwards of seven or eight thousand feet of sun-drenched climbs in a stage. Most impressive was Alberto Contador's stage 12 attack in the Alps. Dude is a beast.

Somewhat related to the previous paragraph, my 2008 Scott Speedster is awesome.