Saturday, July 12, 2014

3 comments Shut Down the Presses, Mark Kiszla Has the Hottest Sports Take the Interwebs Can Handle

I'm not sure if you heard or not, but LeBron James is going back to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers. This news may have slipped through the cracks. Either way, prior to LeBron announcement he was going back home to Akron to play in Cleveland for the Cavaliers, Mark Kiszla had a hot sports take about LeBron. Wear your flame retardant suit, please, because this retardant take is extremely hot. See, LeBron may think he is the King, but Tim Duncan has the rings. It rhymes AND it's a play on "King James." It probably took 5-7 seconds to think of this brilliant column idea.

The NBA has a problem. His name is LeBron James.

The NBA's problem is that LeBron James is too good at playing basketball and brings too much interest to the NBA. He stays out of too much trouble and is too much of a role model for kids. He must be stopped immediately. Where's Tim Tebow when you need him? How dare LeBron inadvertently create interest in the NBA.

The league has sold its soul to the cult of King James. 

When the NBA sold its soul to Michael Jordan, that worked out terribly. I mean, there was all this interest in the NBA and one of the NBA's greatest players was winning titles. (Shudders) What a dark period that was. 

Remember when what happened on the court actually mattered in the NBA?  

Yes, I do remember late June. Do you remember when LeBron James played basketball (right now) and he became a free agent (this just happened) and he was able to choose a new team to play basketball for (this just happened)? This resulted in LeBron James joining the Cleveland Cavaliers (he's coming home) and improved the product that they will put on the court (coming this 14/15 NBA season) and that's why his free agency mattered, because he is going to make the team he chose matter on the court this upcoming season. 

These days, the only thing that really counts in the NBA is the courtship of the King. The wooing of James got so ridiculous, so fast, it even made 69-year-old Pat Riley look as desperate as a nerd begging for a date to the middle school dance.  

Pat Riley planned for two years to wait for LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh to be free agents so he could sign them. This resulted in four NBA Finals appearances and two NBA titles. But yeah, the fact Riley wanted to spend a day convincing LeBron to win more NBA titles, that was so pathetic. What a loser that Pat Riley is to court the best basketball player on the planet and try to convince him to come back and re-join the Heat. He should have played it cool like Dan Gilbert is known for doing and acted like an adult.  

James is either going back to Cleveland. Or he isn't. Next on "SportsCenter"!

Why is it LeBron James' fault that everyone (myself included) were speculating where he might end up signing? He has the right to take his time and choose the right team for him. 

Well, the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth championship of the Tim Duncan era with some of the most beautiful basketball ever seen. But that's trivial stuff. 

Because Tim Duncan has everything to do with where LeBron James plays during the 14/15 season.

So LeBron James is to blame for the speculation, and as Kiszla points out, Tim Duncan has won five NBA titles and plays beautiful basketball. That's totally relevant to the subject of LeBron James' free agency. 

While the world of social media spins out of control 24/7, one truth regarding sports remains the same, forever and always: It's all about the scoreboard, baby.

Okay, so while Tim Duncan is the king then that means Bill Russell has the rings, right? Or is it while Tim Duncan has the rings, Michael Jordan is the king and has the rings? Scoreboard, baby!

When that ceases to be the case, we might as well be watching Miley Cyrus twerk.

I don't really understand this reference. It seems like a forced pop culture reference to me. 

King James has no clothes.

I'm sure he can afford some now that he will be making $20+ million per year. Besides, it's the emperor who has no clothes, not the king.

And the NBA has been exposed as little more than his prop.

No, the NBA has been exposed as a league whose best player was a free agent and there was a lot of interest in where the NBA's best player would end up in free agency. Funny how this Denver-based writer didn't think the NFL wasn't Tim Tebow's prop during his time playing with the professionals. The interest in where LeBron ended up doesn't make the NBA a prop, it increased interest in the NBA.

To be sure, the two NBA championships won by James are nothing to sniff at.

Well, I'm glad he has your approval. I am sure it means a lot to LeBron to know a hack writer validates his championships as nothing to sniff at. 

That gives the King one more ring than Dirk Nowitzki. And one ring fewer than Brian Shaw earned as a player.


Everybody in the league puts life on hold for LeBron.

The best basketball player on the planet is a free agent for the second time. This never happens. It never happens that the best basketball player on the planet is a free agent once, but to happen twice, and for him to go back to the team that originally drafted him? It's an interesting story. Dismiss it as uninteresting or an example of the NBA as a prop, but it's a unique situation. Also, what the hell happened to the Tim Duncan strawman argument? I was looking forward to criticizing that line of thought for it's randomness.

The King builds teams as he sees fit.

He had the right as a free agent to choose his next team and he took his time, smartly I might add, choosing his next team. Criticizing James for wanting to play for a winning team surrounded by other quality players is hypocrisy when talking about Tim Duncan playing a beautiful game of basketball. Tim Duncan wants to play for a winning team and he helped build the Spurs team as he saw fit by giving the team cap room to add other players on the roster. 

Hey, Houston Rockets, do you mind if free agent forward Chris Bosh puts you and your piddling $88 million offer on hold until James tells him it's OK what to do?

LeBron James didn't tell Chris Bosh to wait for him to make a decision. That was Bosh's decision to not sign with the Rockets until James chose a team. You can't blame everything on LeBron James. 

Wait until you check out the unbearable case of inferiority complex the Timberwolves would acquire if Kevin Love forsakes them for Cleveland, all because James snapped his fingers.

I'm pretty sure Minnesota already has that inferiority complex due to Kevin Love essentially saying he would never re-sign with the Timberwolves and Kevin Garnett leaving for Boston a few years ago because Danny Ainge promised him a dream team with the Celtics. 

Now, like some jealous little kid, Melo is afraid to announce whether he's staying in New York or joining the Lakers in the same news cycle as Decision 2.0 by James.

Carmelo's decision didn't have anything to do with LeBron. It had to do with him not being sure he didn't want to play in Chicago. Carmelo isn't sure where he wants to play. What a shock though. A Denver-based writer bashes Carmelo Anthony. 

James broke the hearts of Cleveland when he took his talents to South Beach in 2010. What he's doing now is making a mockery of the games, all the flyover franchises and NBA stars groveling to be LeBron's wingman.

No, he's choosing his next team. All of this other ancillary stuff wasn't his fault or his doing. He has a right to choose his next team in free agency and shouldn't be on Mark Kiszla's time table simply because Kiszla doesn't like the impact around the NBA LeBron's choice had. 

I don't begrudge James his power.

Mark Kiszla doesn't begrudge James his power, yet this entire column is Kiszla begruding LeBron James his power and criticizing James for taking time to make a decision in free agency. But no, he doesn't begrudge LeBron...just as long as you ignore this article as a great example this statement is a lie.

More power to him. James didn't write the rules of the collective bargaining agreement; he merely exploited them.

But you are acting like LeBron wrote the rules, forced NBA writers to speculate on his destination and intentionally isn't making a decision so that the entire NBA will revolve around him more than it already does. You also randomly bring up Tim Duncan in the conversation to show how LeBron doesn't have the rings worthy of being discussed at such length. 

But any league where the whim of one man is more important than the final score is dribbling down the wrong path.

The whim of James isn't more important than the final score. The season is over. There are no more games. There is no final score. There is no reason James' decision had anything to do with the final score of anything. You have no point. Stop writing crap like this. 

Anybody, however, who tells you James is as great as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson or Hall of Famers who relished competition instead of moving on to whatever's convenient fails to realize how hard a meaningful legacy is earned in sports.

It does help that Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson didn't have to leave their teams to find great Hall of Fame teammates. Check out the teams that LeBron carried on his back in Cleveland prior to 2010. Heck, compare the Heat teams from 2011-2014. The Celtics and Lakers teams with Russell, Bird and Magic had as many Hall of Fame players (and other quality NBA players) on the roster during the years they won titles as the Heat had during their four year run with LeBron. Whatever though, make up your own narrative through revisionist history. 

James wins Twitter.

Duncan wins rings.

Tim Duncan is also 37 years old. He had three NBA title at the age of 29 and LeBron James has two NBA titles at that same age. Randomly comparing Duncan at the end of his career, in terms of championship rings, to LeBron James in the prime of his career is a misleading comparison. 

You tell me who the real king is.
Um, Bill Russell or any other NBA player with more than five NBA titles on his resume? 


rich said...

And the NBA has been exposed as little more than his prop.

I think Lebron is a coniving douche of historic proportions, but... this... this... did Mark actually watch the NBA playoffs?

Wait until you check out the unbearable case of inferiority complex the Timberwolves would acquire if Kevin Love forsakes them for Cleveland, all because James snapped his fingers.

he merely exploited them.

How did Lebron "exploit" the CBA? He's a fucking free agent and he can choose his own team however and whenever he wants.

And if Lebron truly is "exploiting" the CBA, then why is no one throwing a fit about what Carmelo Anthony is doing?

Hall of Famers who relished competition instead of moving on to whatever's convenient fails to realize how hard a meaningful legacy is earned in sports.

All of the players Mark listed were on teams that surrounded them with talent and each played with multiple HOFers.

Think about the 1995 Bulls: when Horace Grant left, they traded for Rodman and then signed Salley, Harper and Kerr as free agents. Jordan didn't have to go anywhere to play with talent because the talent came to him.

Even Duncan had a lot of help in that regard, in that the team brought in talent to play with him when it was clear that the team was aging a bit.

If the team you play for surrounds you with talent, then of course they don't leave because not leaving is the convenient thing.

When team could not or would not surround the players with talent they would leave:

Payton, Rodman, Pippen, Drexler, Barkley, Karl Malone, etc. all moved on when it was convenient for them.

Cleveland did not surround Lebron with talent the first time through and anyone who watched last year's playoffs saw Wade's career fall off a cliff, Bosh struggle to do anything remotely useful and a bunch of other players who are only there because they're cheap.

So, while Mark blasts Lebron for not wanting to stay and compete, I give him kudos for seeing what the rest of us saw, which was an old team falling apart.

Again, think about Shaq: started in Orlando and got to the Finals... then left to play with Kobe in LA. During his time in LA, played on the team with Payton, Malone and Kobe... then got himself shipped out to Miami... where he played with an up and coming Wade.

Seriously, other than "the Decision" what is Lebron doing that hasn't already been happening for 20 years?

Eric C said...

Hall of Famers who relished competition instead of moving on to whatever's convenient fails to realize how hard a meaningful legacy is earned in sports.

Guys like Dave Bing, George Gervin, and Alex English never won championships. I hate this bullshit logic that they relished competition. If they were playing today and had the option to be a free agent, why wouldn't they at least consider changing teams?

It's just revisionist history. They didn't have the option to change teams unless they were traded, so they stayed put until the teams were done with them.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I'm not a big LeBron fan simply because he's too good and plays in Eastern Conference. The Heat team was pretty this year, but watching them in the playoffs it's clear it was a team that lacked some talent. I wouldn't have counted the Heat out if they had kept the Big 3 together, they very well could have won the title again, but the point of the Bulls bringing Rodman in was very astute. They actually upgraded the rebounder they brought in, as well as drafted B.J. Armstrong. Bird never had to leave Boston, Magic never had to leave the Lakers. There was always more talent coming in. The problem with surrounding LeBron with role players is they are role players. Make them do more than their role and they struggle.

I don't like LeBron, but I don't blame him for leaving. What's he done has been done before and wouldn't anyone want to play with Irving and Wiggins? That sounds like fun.

Eric, guys like Karl Malone chased a ring later in his career, but I guess since he was on the decline then he wasn't making the NBA his prop. The bottom line is LeBron is the best player in the NBA. It's news when he is a free agent. There is also an argument to be made that the Cavs are less "win now" than the Heat would have been this upcoming year.