Last week Blake Griffin used some sort of Celtic magic to literally levitate in midair and posterize a man named Kendrick Perkins. While the dunk will be remembered for years, the big story coming from behind it is a Tweet by Lebron James.
Lebron basically broke some unspoken NBA standard of stoicism when he stated what we all know. Kendrick Perkins was posterized and whatever good dunk he had earlier in the year would be the #2 dunk of the year.
Apparently, tweeting such things is a holy sin in the NBA. ESPN analysts immediately started in on Lebron, saying that he basically is an immature child for using Twitter. They stated that if he was not so focused on good dunks, maybe he could win a championship. The attacks on poor Lebron have been relentless.
While Lebron may be awkward and frustrating, attacking him for using Twitter is patently ridiculous. Saying that dunks are not a huge part of the NBA is ridiculous too. Fans like dunks. Fans pay money. The NBA makes a ‘dunk contest’ a multi-million dollar feature where NBA players fall all over each other, holding their mouths and going ‘OOOOHODFHODOOHOOHHOOHHHH’ after someone dunks. Should all the NBA stars start being Bob Cousey and doing nice, solid layups instead? Would a layup competition go over better, than say, the NBA All-Star slam-dunk contest.
Can ESPN make a Top Ten no-emotion layups of the year, highlighted by Tim Duncan and the Spurs?
Being stoic and dramatic does not equal good fun and entertainment. While there should be a level of professionalism, some players are just having fun and that’s who they are going to be. Sure, there may be some things blamed on Lebron, like upsetting fans with his team-switching or dancing with Dwayne Wade. Evil, evil stuff there.
But it’s getting ridiculous when Lebron “King” James gets chastised for riding around on his King James bike. How many players have ridiculous 20 bedroom homes that would make Queen Elizabeth II salivate in jealousy?
Here’s a theory: the less attention given to Lebron’s personal life and antics, the more attention he might pay to the game. He is a very good player who is just enjoying the life of a NBA star. Skip Bayless, things blamed on Lebron may be something of your invention.
Not forgiving someone for a nickname they gave themselves in high school, and is pretty much a trademarked moniker, is pretty tough. At the end of the day, Lebron is living a lifestyle that only a few can achieve. Sure, that should bring a bit of humility and then again, it is something he’s earned. Why not let the guy have his fun?