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Friday, June 17, 2011

The King is a Thing of Nothing: The Shaming of James

So, the big question is…

“Are you glad LeBron lost?”


“Are you glad the Mavs won?”

Me, personally? I don’t really care about NBA Basketball. I don’t really care about basketball, in general. I used to play, back in my grade school days at the YMCA and I sucked, just like I did in every sport except for six person gym class volleyball or Scooter Soccer.

However, I love the karma boomerang. I remember thinking LeBron was a d-bag when he entered into the NBA. He signed a contract before he even went onto the court before the public as a player. He always appeared to be entitled and that kind of smug is best left on the bottom of my shoe.

Maybe it was because he was born in raised in Ohio (Pittsburgh humor there). He rooted for the Yankees while at Indians’ games. He’s a Dallas Cowboys’ fan (More d-baggery there from a Pittsburgh person’s point of view).

Then there was the confiscating of the tape of him getting dunked on by an Xavier Guard in 2009.

Here's a circulated copy

Lastly, he made even more of a d-bag of himself by being the center of attention in The Decision. Although, shame on ESPN for hyping and being a part of this. What person, especially a professional athlete, needs to have a press conference, let alone an entire hour of television to say he’s wiping his ass of Cleveland and heading to Miami? This was what tipped the scales in his favor as a finalist in my 2010 D-Bag Awards.

However, that’s all in the past. King James has been shamed by the Mavs and Pittsburgh by way of Mark Cuban. This wasn’t the first time the Heat came up against the Mavs in the finals, although, in 2006 the Heat beat the Mavs. Now, with LeBron James, the victory was that much sweeter as Cuban was once fined for making comments about James before he signed with Miami.

I’m not going to sugarcoat Cuban’s character. He is brash and outspoken. He gets fined a lot by the NBA for being too opinionated and mouthy on the court. While most owners watch the games from a luxury skybox, Cuban prefers watching from the court, among the fans. He’s come out onto the court to yell at officials. Doesn’t he know that only Jack Nicholson can do that?

Yet, he’s not the typical businessman and that’s why I like him. He made his own way and for every fine he’s received he’s made a matching donation to a charity. He once told the NBA’s director of officiating that he couldn’t manage a Dairy Queen which upset a manager at a Dairy Queen. Cuban responded by serving treats to customers, some waiting for over two hours. He also tipped $20,000 for a bottle of champagne after the Mavs defeated Miami. Granted, the champagne was worth $90,000 and while it may seem magnanimous for him to tip so much, it was barely more than 20%. I tip 20% for competent service in a restaurant. Though, I don’t spend $90,000 for food. He is also picking up the tab for the parade in Dallas. This may be the only time I have ever actually rooted for Dallas in anything. Actually, I was kind of rooting for them in the World Series, but that’s because Barry Bonds was a Giant… though, three years prior to the series. I still have night terrors of Sid Bream. >:(

He’s definitely not what professional sports’ administration would want in an owner. He wants to buy a baseball club which would probably cause Bud Selig to stroke out. After all, if he is this outspoken as an NBA team owner, could you imagine him owning a baseball team and calling out league management? That would be awesome. Personally, I’d like to see him buy the Pirates.

However, the real story of the NBA Championship hasn’t been Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki beating Miami. It’s been about LeBron choking and Miami losing. Ten years from now, if you ask who beat Miami in the 2011 Championship Series, you may be searching for the name of the team but you’ll definitely remember that King James was dethroned and shamed on the national stage.

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