Monday, June 20, 2011

LeBron could learn from ARod, Jeter

It might be the most I've enjoyed a championship that didn't involve a team that I cared about. It's also probably the first time since the Jordan era came to a close that I've really watched an NBA Finals series that didn't involve the Celtics. The rational human being that lurks somewhere inside my head wanted to feel at least a little bit sorry for LeBron and Heat as they fell short of their own expectations, but the obnoxious sports fan - as he often does - took over and enjoyed every second of the Heat's demise. He even switched over to see just how dejected the losers looked after the last two losses. I don't think I'm much different from any fan out there that doesn't hail from Cleveland. I don't really have any reason to hate the Heat and LeBron except for "The Decision" and the premature championship celebration. No use in spending more time talking about those events. Bottom line, you celebrate a title that you have yet to win, and people are going to love watching you lose. At times, I feel a bit uneasy at how we put people up on a pedestal in our culture and then try to tear them apart. Yet, you just know that one day, after LBJ has failed to win title after title, he'll be the sentimental favorite.

One thing that just baffles me about LeBron is how he simply refuses to learn from his previous gaffes and continues to give the public things to pick apart. He really has replaced ARod as the most needlessly dissected athlete in least until the next girlfriend is caught feeding ARod popcorn at a sporting event. Truthfully, the steroid fiasco took some of the fun out of hounding ARod. So we've moved on to LeBron. He doesn't come off as calculated as Rodriguez, but he does have the same talent for saying something completely dumb at the worst possible time. Case in point, LBJ was doing a decent enough job answering questions during the post-game presser after the Mavs clinched. Then, all of a sudden and seemingly out of nowhere, he responds with a quite that sounded to many as if he was essentially saying "I'm still 'King James', you're still a bunch of peasants, and when you wake up tomorrow, then next day, the next month, that will still be the case." It's up to you to decide what he really meant with the statement, but everyone agrees it was a poor choice of words. LeBron could learn a thing or two from a guy like Derek Jeter -- a guy who very rarely seems to be the center of controversy even playing in New York. Instead, LeBron seems to have taken a few pages out of ARod's "Guide to Embarrassing Yourelf In Front of the Media."

Thanks to my infrequent posting, a few other thoughts to share.....

  1. Someone in the Post Dispatch floated the idea that the Cardinals might be the best team in the majors, and the Cards answer with a 7 game losing streak that finally came to end against Kansas City on Saturday. When healthy, the Cardinals should be as much a contender as any other NL team. But, the injuries have caught up with the team a bit, and now we're facing 4-6 weeks without Albert Pujols....although knowing Pujols, it will only be 3 weeks.
  2. Speaking of Albert, the silver lining may be that it lowers the price tag a bit for 2012. Still can't imagine him playing in another uniform.
  3. I'm sure this will read as a Cards fan picking on Cubs fans, but I had to laugh that many of the Cubs fans I follow on twitter suggested that their team was putting itself back into the NL Central race. We all know the NL Central is a shaky division at best, but really, when your team comes off a nice stretch where you've made up ground and you're STILL 9+ games out.....well, you were that far back for a reason, and post-Memorial Day, these things don't tend to change. Sorry.
  4. Picking on the Cubs, Part II: Many Yankees fans that I follow on twitter said that the shine was off of young shortstop (of the future?) Eduardo Nunez now that they'd had a look at Starlin Castro. Wonder how they feel after watching the full series. To my eye, and it is admittedly one that looks for things to not like about the Cubs, Castro is much like Carlos Marmol and Carlos Zambrano -- tantalizing talent that makes you think he could be special, but a head that just as often makes you wonder how quickly he can get out of town.
Can't think of anything else that needed to be said....thanks for reading.

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