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I Watched the Last Five Minutes

June 13, 2011 - Al Stephenson
I do not like the game of basketball as it is played in the NBA. Letting 7-footers who top the scales at over 300 pounds, push and shove each other until one can dunk the ball is not what the game is all about for me. Ignoring obvious traveling calls while observing a totally ridiculous "in the act of shooting" rule makes the game something so much different from the game that I grew up playing. I did not watch a full minute of play for the whole NBA season.

I did however, tune in last night to watch the last five minutes of game 6 from Miami once it looked as though the Heat would likely lose. I didn't cheer nor did I smile once the final horn sounded. As a Cleveland sports fan, I did allow myself a small sense of satisfaction. I couldn't help it.

When LeBron James took the Cavs into playoff contention I tolerated the game because I simply wanted to see a world championship come to Cleveland. When his messy divorce with my sports city became final last summer, I knew I would watch little if any action this season. It was very tempting to switch channels last night though, as I watched the Reds battle the Giants on Sunday Night Baseball. I didn't really care about the outcome of the baseball game, but as I watched the score of the basketball game flash across the bottom of the screen, my desire for at least a little bit of redemption got the best of me. I would endure the last five minutes to see the King come up short again.

Clevelanders had their hearts broken by King James when he left town for a better chance at a ring. It was not so much the leaving as the way he did it that set most of us off. The hour long show called The Decision was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen on TV, until the introduction of the Big Three in Miami shortly thereafter. That made me want to throw up. What a dog and pony show.

Cavs fans were joined by nearly everyone outside of South Beach in deciding that they would prefer any team besides the Heatles (what kind of nickname is that anyway?) to get the trophy. When Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks took the Heat down, even Mark Cuban became bearable.

I felt a little ashamed of the way I felt until I read James postgame comments on line today. You have to give him credit for sheer arrogance as the following will show.

When asked if it bothered him "that so many people are happy to see you fail" this is what the King said. "Absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had... I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live." In other words - it sucks to be you - I'm a multimillionaire and I could give a crap what you think about me.

The word, LeBron - if you choose to look it up - is narcissism.

The view from my seat suggests that perhaps we should give LeBron James credit for not caring what others think about him. There have been times when I wished I didn't care what others thought, but eventually I had to admit that I really did. It's called respect and at the end of the day it's worth more than the millions of dollars that LeBron can shove in our faces.

I'll tell you what LeBron. I'm pretty happy that I woke up today with the same life that I've had.

 
 

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