Thursday, June 02, 2011

My Daily Domestic Clips 06/03/2011 (a.m.)

  • This is superb sports writing. I don't even care that much about LeBron any more and I got sucked into this article! Very welldone.
    • What is not debatable is this: Last year, LeBron, by Barra's own reckoning the  best player in basketball, decided it would be easier to join 'em than beat 'em.  Wade, with whom he colluded to team up during free agency, was the closest thing  LeBron had to genuine competition, at least in the Eastern Conference: same  draft class, similar skills and position, and (unlike James) already an NBA  champion and Finals MVP. As Bill Simmons put  it, "it's a cop-out. Any super-competitive person would rather beat Dwyane  Wade than play with him. Don't you want to find the Ali to your Frazier and have  that rival pull the greatness out of you?" Not LeBron, evidently. For good  measure, he and Wade even brought along the third-most-coveted free agent on the  market, fellow All-Star Bosh.

    • So, are rings really what distinguish LeBron from the Michael Jordan? Of course  not. Jordan banged up against the physical Detroit Pistons unsuccessfully for  years before finally surmounting them in the playoffs. It would have been easier  to simply engineer a trade to the Motor City (or to LA, Boston, Portland, etc.)  and start hoisting banners immediately, but he stuck it out as the pieces were  fit and refit around him, until they were good enough to make it to the Finals.  Nor was this in any way unusual. Bird never considered teaming up with Magic.  Hakeem didn't offer to play power forward next to Robinson. Sure, great players  have forced trades now and then. But they haven't invented insta-champion  superteams out of thin air.

    • That's what LeBron did with Wade and Bosh. He cut corners. He skipped the  gradual team building and rebuilding. He decided that being the best wasn't  enough, he wanted to play with the best, too. This might have been tolerable if  he'd done it humbly, if he'd said, in essence: I'm not the alpha male; I'm not  the transcendent star; I want to be a facilitator of other great players, more  Magic than Michael. Instead, he gave us The Decision. He let all-stars Wade and  Bosh—the former, again, more credentialed than LeBron—make their free-agency  announcement jointly, and waited another day and a half to make his own alone,  with all the hype and hooplah he could gin up: a me, me, me moment in  which to announce he didn't want the burden to be his, his, his. As I wrote  at the time, he had a choice between greatness and humility and, amazingly,  chose neither.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
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