Wednesday, December 24, 2014

0 comments The Ghost of Hot Sports Takes From Bleacher Report's Past

When I write about Bleacher Report I tend to not give the author of the column or slideshow a name unless he is someone who actually is a "name" or rather well-known writer. I call the person writing the slideshow "the author" most of the time. Bleacher Report has improved over the years for sure. There's a reason for that. The site has shed it's past, which seemed to consist a lot of times of high school students who need to gain attention by writing about sports, but have no idea how to write about sports. They hired "real" writers now and there is quality sportswriting on the site. Of course, there is still bad writing. I received an email with a link to a column about Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner from 2010 on Bleacher Report's site. I read it and it was horrible, horrible writing. So I looked at the author's archive that consists mainly of hot sports takes where the author ignorantly spit out all of his biases and ridiculous reasoning into columns that ended up very, very wrong. The author couldn't even be concerned with filling out a bio. No time for that when hot sports takes are ready to be served.

So this is just a sampling of the archive where the author takes out his/her (not entirely sure and won't assume the name is either gender, but I will write "he") admitted bias against teams in poorly-written and eventually incorrect screeds on Bleacher Report. We are all wrong at times, but there is nothing like being wrong and being so cocky and presumptive you won't be wrong.

First, the author (who admits to hating Steinbrenner and Martin in the comments) states Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner should not be in the baseball Hall of Fame. I tend to agree with Martin at least, but feel the hatred and 10th grade-level writing bleed off the page and into your unsuspecting eyes. It's incredibly bad writing filled with amateur hot sports takes better served coming from a Twitter account with an egg for an avatar. The author hasn't written since 2011, but I'm sure he's trolling some sports message boards somewhere.

The late George Steinbrenner and the late Billy Martin did not receive many votes by the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee. This sounds just about right; they didn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame on their first try.

In fact, they shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame period. Neither did anything special to earn that honor, so it's hard to believe either of them will be there.

Steinbrenner did nothing to merit being in the Hall.

I'm confused. So the author DOESN'T think George Steinbrenner should be in the Hall of Fame?  

He caused damage to the sport by escalating salaries, and he basically destroyed the chances of small-market teams winning championships. He created the divide between small-market teams and big-market teams when it comes to generating revenue that has not been resolved.

Steinbrenner did have some help, but it seems completely fair to just blame George Steinbrenner in total for these issues.

This guy had too much baggage; he wasn't beloved by his fellow owners, treated employees like slaves,

I'm not entirely sure how Steinbrenner can be responsible for the escalating salaries of players and then stated that he treated his own players (who he paid a lot of money to be in his employ) like slaves, but I'm sure the author has totally sound reasoning for making this statement. He just never explains the sound reasoning.

Talk about Steinbrenner giving Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden second chances. He wanted to rejuvenate their careers, but he wasn't doing it to be a savior. He wanted to take credit if those guys succeeded, and he wasn't afraid to let people know it was him that played a role in their success.

If you want to look at it that way, then yes. Does Tony Dungy counsel NFL players to soothe his own ego or because he really wants to help counsel these players? If I hated Tony Dungy I could make an argument that it's all about him and how he wants to take credit for the success of these players. Either way, the result is what mattered. Steinbrenner gave these three players chances to rejuvenate their careers.

Besides, owners have no business being in the Hall. they don't play the game, so there's no reason for them to be in. Yes, they run a business. But, the Hall should be about players and managers—nothing more than that.

These hot takes are coming at me so fast, I can barely catch them all. The best part is this hot sports take is just thrown out there and immediately abandoned for the next one. No need to elaborate further, here's something else hot off the presses!

Go ahead and talk about his success. People should remember something: The Yankees went on a great run after Steinbrenner's suspension, and when he came back, he rode on their coattails.

(touches computer screen and burns his finger)

This is the same owner who wanted to trade all those prospects. He wanted guys who can win now and did not want to wait another five or six years. Once he came back from suspension, he started his nonsense. The prospects flourished, and it resulted in the "Core Four" of Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada.

Imagine if Steinbrenner traded them all: where would the Yankees be now?

But Steinbrenner ended up not trading them all, so the hypothetical of what Steinbrenner didn't do isn't a good reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame. That's a positive for Steinbrenner that he got overruled and decided not to trade these players.

Imagine if Lou Gehrig was born as a chipmunk instead of a human? How good would he have been at playing first base without arms and legs and the insatiable need to cross the street when a car was coming? HOW COULD LOU GEHRIG HAVE BECOME THE MOST OVERRATED FIRST BASEMAN IN MLB HISTORY IF HE WERE BORN A RODENT???

Basically, the Yankees won in spite of him. He contributed spending money by getting the best players, but it's easy to do when he has many resources to work with in the biggest media market in the world.

The Johnny-come-lately Yankees fans will say great things about him, but those folks weren't around during the dark days of Yankees baseball.

Every single one of you. None of you were around during the dark days of Yankees baseball. Only the author was there, screaming curses at children who dared to wear a Don Mattingly jersey to a Yankees game.

If he wasn't winning, he wouldn't be beloved here.

Very astute observation. It's like saying if Derek Jeter had 3 hits instead of over 3,000 hits he wouldn't be headed for the Hall of Fame. The fact Steinbrenner did win is why he was beloved and a case for his Hall of Fame induction can be made. Sure, if you ignore the reasons he should be in the Hall of Fame he wouldn't have a very good case.

As for Martin, he was an overrated manager. He was fired everywhere he had been, and he won championships in spite of his work with the Yankees. Earl Weaver out managed him at every opportunity.

Whew! This was three sentences of three hot sports takes.

There was nothing special about Martin.

If he did not like a player, he would do everything possible to make his player miserable. Ask Reggie Jackson for details.

Okay, I will. (Bengoodfella goes to call Reggie Jackson and then realizes he has no way of getting Jackson's phone number)

He fell in love with role players, which is amusing since they did nothing.

I'm pretty damn amused. I can admit that.

This guy was also a bigot. He never worked well with African-Americans, and he wasn't any better with Jewish players.

By the way, the author states in the comments he doesn't think Ty Cobb should be in the Hall of Fame either. At least he's consistent. 

There was nothing to like about him. Martin was all about himself. He was a sideshow at home and at the ballpark. He was a fixture at nightclubs and bars.

If Martin didn't do any of those things, he may have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. Writers may have voted him in even though he doesn't deserve it based on his work.

He was his own enemy. He felt everything had to be his way. He thought the game was about him and not the players. He never respected anyone.

But see, this is really something that Bleacher Report allowed to be printed on their site in 2010. Even if it was true to an extent, it's not exactly the best and most analytical reasoning possible for why Billy Martin shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame.

ESPN featured The Bronx Is Burning in 2007. This drama revealed everything about Martin, and the writer took notes of every moment of those scenes. The impression was the Yankees manager was not the guy to root for.

AND SINCE WHEN HAS A MOVIE PORTRAYED A REAL LIFE PERSON INACCURATELY?

There's no question the committee showed their vendetta on Steinbrenner and Martin. They wanted to make both of them pay for their actions.

It seems the committee may have evaluated Steinbrenner and Martin on their merits, while the only one with a vendetta just may be you. It's hard to tell, because this is such a nuanced piece of writing.

The committee made their minds up, and there's no reason to think they are going to change their minds on both of them.

Because if a baseball figure isn't inducted into the Hall of Fame on his first try, history shows he never gets inducted into the Hall of Fame...well, at least in the author's world.

(the author steps up on a pedestal)

The Hall is not a place for cheaters, criminals and jerks. This is a sacred place for guys who made the game a better one. It's for guys who made the job a better place.

(the author steps down off his pedestal, smashing his shoe into a child's face on the way down for the crime of drooling and having no concern for the author's words by crying while he's talking on his pedestal )

It's a joke that there is a debate about this. It's funny to see people get worked up by all this.

Yes, it certainly is hilarious to see people get worked up by all of this. The author certainly doesn't seem worked up about it at all.

As good as it looks for both men, it really wasn't that special.

That's what she said.

If you want a slightly more nuanced look at Steinbrenner's Hall of Fame candidacy then follow this link. If you want a take like you just read, may God have mercy on your soul.

Now the author boldly takes on Mark Teixeira for dumping Scott Boras as his agent. 

Typical Mark Teixeira.

He wants everyone to congratulate him for dumping Scott Boras. He approached as a newsworthy moment. He acted like this was a noble thing to do.

Tex's statement at the time. Here is what he said a few years later about his reasoning. I don't know, it seems like he just sort of let Boras go rather than bask in the glory of it all. Maybe I don't hate the Yankees enough to see how evil Tex really was for dropping Boras.

He claimed he dumped Boras because he was tired of people knowing him as Boras' client rather than be a baseball player.

If that is not being self-centered, then what is?

I'm not entirely sure the author understands how an agent actually works. The entire point of having an agent is to make things about the person hiring the agent. Like that's the entire purpose of an agent, to make it about his client.

First of all, no one is interested in his reasoning. No one cares.

If no one is interested and no one cares then why was Tex dumping Boras reported on by the media and now you are so uninterested in his reasoning that you are criticizing his reasoning?

This is about his being protective of his image. Obviously, he cares about what people think of him. That type of stuff belong to high schoolers. Professional players should just do their job and keep quiet.

Yeah, that type stuff belong to high schoolers. Like using an "s" at the end of words to show the word is plural or to indicate you know how to correctly use grammar. So high school.

This sounds like he wants to pass the buck rather than looking at the mirror. He should try that. This is a guy who likes to educate people about the game.

He treats the local media as if they are dumb. He gets defensive when he deals with the tough questions.

This isn't an adult writing these sentences. This is a child who just found out his parents don't have a password anymore on the computer and he is writing these sentences trying to take every chance he can get to bash his least favorite team.

He whines about getting hit by pitch often.

What a rebel. The author is still not using an "s" at the end of his sentences. Fuck you, grammar! You are just a racist Billy Martin lover!

He intentionally injured Angels catcher Bobby Wilson by ramming through him after getting a hit by pitch last year.

He rammed all the way through Bobby Wilson? I don't remember Tex murdering a catcher, but my memory may be a little hazy.

Remarkably, Teixeira sounded indifferent about the whole thing when asked about it. He did not even bother calling him.

This is a totally relevant anecdote as it pertains to why Mark Teixeira is an asshole for firing Scott Boras.

This is not the first time he had those problems. He's been like that with the Texas Rangers. He was sensitive to criticism over there.

The Rangers had no choice to trade the moody player. He became a bad influence to the young players, and he took the life out of that team with his complaining.

This is a fact! Not an opinion! A fact! If it weren't for Michael Young, the entire Texas Rangers franchise would have folded in on itself due to Mark Teixeira's bad influence.

Yes, Teixeira won a championship two years ago, but it's easy to go play for a team that buys a championship every year. Besides it's not like he was doing anything in the postseason two years ago.

Great point. It's easy to win a World Series. In fact, 20 MLB teams won the World Series just last year and Teixeira's season line of .292/.383/.565 with 39 home runs and 122 RBI had nothing to do with the Yankees even being in the playoffs.

He treats the local media as if they are dumb. He gets defensive when he deals with the tough questions.

If he was serious about changing his image, he shouldn't have gone out and made a news conference out of it.

If he is going to be serious about this, he should be stoic to the media from now on. He's better off anyway because he adds no insight to his quotes.

Mark Teixeira needs to deal better with the local media and answer the tough questions. He should not have publicly stated he was leaving Scott Boras. Teixeira should simply not talk to the media at all.

So in summary, Mark Teixeira doesn't give good quotes because he won't answer tough questions, but the author thinks he shouldn't even talk to the media anyway if he is only going to give the media information like the fact Scott Boras isn't his agent anymore. So I really have no idea what the author wants from Tex at this point...other than for him to just die.

It's hard to think he's going to change. No one ever changes. It's one thing from a kid to grow up at some point, but when a man is set in his ways, there's no reason to think he will change.

I honestly have no fucking clue what the author is talking about right now.

Also, fans worry about him hitting a baseball. They want him to get over his April slump that haunted his career. If he does that, no one will care if he is a jerk. It seems Teixeira is too worried about what people think of him. If that's the case, he does not mean well at all.

He has to do this based on his heart. If he is really serious about this, he has to show it.

Oh Jesus Christ, this is like a diarrhea explosion of words on the computer screen. Teixeira needs to do this (do what?) based on his heart and he has to show it. I feel like the author is just playing mad libs right now or trying to talk to the readers in code.

By firing Boras, he put the attention on himself and that's the way he likes it.

Except you stated he didn't like it that way because he won't give the media a juicy quote to digest. This is the type of crap that used to end up on Bleacher Report.

Then the author wrote a trilogy of articles about how the 2011 Tampa Bay Rays are a joke and they won't come close to doing anything during the season because they don't have the hitters to make the playoffs. The Rays went 91-71 and made the playoffs the year the author wrote these three columns. It's not that author was wrong, it's that he was so absolutely sure he was right it's hilarious to read how he wrote with such confidence.

The author first took on the owner of the Rays (naturally) and his cult of followers. You can read the desperation in these articles from the author. He's desperate to write something that another person will read and he will troll as hard as possible for pageviews. He's the Mark Teixeira of Bleacher Report. He just needs to do this based on his heart and show it.

Despite the fire sale, the Rays owner has them believing the Rays can be a wild-card team. When the Rays signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon over the weekend, the cults were in propaganda mode. They mentioned the signings will make the Rays as good as last year.

Which they were not as good by five games. Of course, that's not such a big deal when the Rays won 96 games the year before.

Let's get real here. The Rays will do okay, but expecting them to win 87 games is crazy.

They won 91 games. It's a crazy world.

Signing couple of washed-up players is not going to improve the offense. If Damon and Ramirez were any good, they wouldn't be playing for the Rays. The Rays hope to get something out of those two, but its unrealistic. Now, if they signed Vladimir Guerrero, then it's okay to get excited.

Damon hit .261/.326/.418 with 16 home runs, 73 RBI's and 19 steals.

Guerrero hit .290/.317/.416 with 13 home runs, 63 RBI's and 2 steals.

The starting rotation will do a fine job, but they are going to have to be perfect to win games. That's too much to ask. They are going to be involved in 2-1 or 3-1 games often, and if the offense can't provide run support, they are just not going to win them.

15th in runs scored, 25th in batting average, 13th in OBP, and 13th in slugging percentage. 14th in the majors in OPS. So scoring runs wasn't a huge issue.

People argue Jeremy Hellickson can replace Garza, but that's wishful thinking at best. First of all, Hellickson is going to go through growing pains in his first full season.

He went 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 3.5 WAR in 189 innings.

If the Rays had their way, James Shields would have been traded, but he has no value right now.

Two seasons later James Shields landed the Rays Wil Myers in a trade from the Royals.

Signing Farnsworth was a bad idea. He's proved he can not be reliable over the years. He will blow games, and he will get hit hard. Joe Maddon would be wise to use him as a situational reliever.

He had a 2.18 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 25 saves as the Rays' closer.

This year is not going to be easy for the Rays. It’s not going to be bad, but there are too many questions to think this team is going be a playoff team.

They were.

Sternberg and his management team can brainwash others all they want, but it does not change the fact this team has questions to answer.

You mean exactly like every other MLB team?

Now the author isn't satisfied with his previous statements about the cult of Sternberg and has some thoughts on the Rays' signings. 

They are relying on castoffs from their offseason moves. They feel those guys can help them contend for a wildcard spot with their core players.

It's an interesting move. It could work out, but it may not work out.

It may or may not work out. Thanks for clearing up all confusion. This is analysis.

They have fine intentions, but there's no guarantee it will work.

There are no guarantees! None! Every other MLB team has guarantees, but not the Rays.

As for Damon, he struggled at the plate last year. Despite having a good on-base percentage, he couldn't be a difference-maker on the base paths. He wasn't hitting either. His defense left a lot to be desired, especially when he throws to the cutoff guy.

Again, the Rays have to hope this works out.

I don't know if the Rays would have signed Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez prior to the 2011 season in the hopes it would NOT work out. But, as the author has told us, it may or may not work out.

Bush will be in the minors. Kotchman and Delaney will get a shot to make the team. The Rays hope to get something out of Peralta and Farnsworth.

Kotchman has showed he is no better than Dan Johnson.

Kotchman: .306/.378/.422 with 10 home runs and 48 RBI's in 500 at-bats.

Johnson: .119/.187/.202 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI's in 84 at-bats.

Yep, they were really the same player in 2011.

These moves are the best the Rays can do. For a small-market team, it's hard to expect them to retain all of their stars and get a premier free agent. Still, the Rays should have kept Grant Balfour and Dan Wheeler, but they apparently thought those two did as well as they could.

It's hard for the Rays to keep their stars, but they should have done it anyway. Just create money for payroll out of nowhere. How hard could that be? The author with a thorough lack of understanding for the economic realities facing the Rays.

It's hard to understand the trade of Matt Garza. He is the type of starter that can win 12 games with his stuff. He can be inconsistent, but in big games, he delivers. To lose that type of starter, it's unfathomable, especially when he has several years to go on his contract.

David Price, James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson all won 12 games or more.

The Rays have become relevant to the public and to the AL East with these moves. Players have something to play for. That’s something at least.

A month ago the author didn't really like the moves and he sort of bashed them in the above column.

Now the author waits FIVE WHOLE GAMES of the 2011 season to announce the Rays' season totally over.

So much for the Tampa Bay Rays being a playoff team.

After watching them in this homestand, they are 0-5 for a reason. They feature no hitters that scare the other team. It's not surprising Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren had their way with them.

It's no surprise those five pitchers had their way with the Rays because they are quality pitchers?

Go ahead and talk about how it's early, but it's not going to change the fact these hitters are not impact players.

"Go ahead and point out the fallacy in my reasoning or the small sample size I am drawing my conclusion from, but I will stand by my fallacy and small sample size until proven wrong. Okay, well I will just stop writing for Bleacher Report when I'm proven wrong."

The Rays hoped Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon would provide the offense, but that hasn't worked out so far.

Ramirez was a disaster, but Damon turned it around. It's almost like five games is a tiny sample size to definitively base conclusions upon.

For what those two accomplished in the majors, they deserve a chance to get it together. If they don't by the end of May, the Rays should release both of them.

Or threaten to execute their family if they don't start hitting well. That's probably a better idea.

The Rays are relying on Reid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez, Dan Johnson, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist to make an impact as everyday players. That's too much to ask. Most of their players are nothing more than utility players at best.

Well, Dan Johnson IS Casey Kotchman. That much is obvious. Also, 2011 Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist take exception to the idea they are utility players at best. Great foresight though.

Brignac and Rodriguez may be better than they are portrayed, but it doesn't seem like it.

Of course, in his angry brilliance the author picks the two players who AREN'T as good as they are portrayed as being better than they are portrayed.

It's ridiculous to expect starters to win games by themselves. It never happens. Pitching and defense wins championships, but that becomes meaningless if the team can't hit.

So pitching and defense don't win championships then? Because, pitching, defense, and offense wins championships? I'm confused.

The lack of hitting not only will not make the Rays a playoff team, but it will mean 84 losses.

Only off by 13 losses. That's not so bad.

They are on pace to do just that after watching the first five games at the Trop.

Because five games was the perfect sample size to come out and spit hot sports takes about how the Rays are a terrible offensive team.

Now the author comes in hot at Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning on September 8, 2011. He says the Giants are going nowhere, NOWHERE he tells us, with Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning leading the team. I don't want to be a bully, but this author comes in so hard and hot on these teams with his hot takes it is really funny to read just how wrong he was. By the way, the Giants won the Super Bowl six months after this column was written.

They are hoping miracles can happen again this year for Big Blue. With the team dealing with many injuries and many defections in the offseason, they are in a bind already. The experts are not giving them a chance to be a playoff team.

And when, other than every single year, have the experts been wrong?

The Giants’ problems stem from the head coach and the quarterback. What confidence does anyone have in Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin?

Considering they won a Super Bowl in 2007 together, as a non-Giants fan I had some confidence in them.

What confidence do the Giants have in Manning now? He did not have a good preseason. He was off target throwing the ball to his receivers. He continues to have problems with interceptions.

It doesn’t seem like he is getting better. Maybe it’s time to realize he had a fluke 2007 postseason.

Yes, maybe it is time to realize he had a fluke 2007 postseason. In 2011, Eli Manning ended up having one of the best, if not the best, season of his career. Oh yeah, and the Giants won the Super Bowl. Either way, it's time to go hard at Tom Coughlin. Careful Tom, the author is blazing at you with his hot takes about your coaching style!

Then there’s Coughlin’s leadership as coach.

He has had his team unprepared and undisciplined every game. They find ways to lose rather than to win. When the going gets tough, Coughlin implodes by screaming at his players rather than leading them and teaching them about what happened on a play. He is often confused on the sidelines every game.

That last sentence sounds like it came directly from Gregg Easterbrook. It's amazing to me that the Giants won two Super Bowls with a coach who has his team unprepared and undisciplined every game. Either that, or the author is just making shit up because he wants to write an article bashing the Giants to gain attention. I'll let you decide.

It could come down to this. His players tuned him out. Their play and their demeanor indicate that. This is why the Giants should have not bothered keeping Coughlin this season. They should have found a coach that can offer a new perspective for guys to listen.

Oh boy, I bet this is awkward for the author to go back and read.

The Giants didn’t look at it that way. They feel Coughlin hasn’t lost it. Plus, they didn’t want to fire him after a 10-win season.

It’s a good thing he won the Super Bowl in 2007 or else he would have been looking for work a long time ago. 

Plus Coughlin had a 65-47 record (That's a 58.0% winning percentage, which is very close to the winning Bill Parcells had with the Giants) prior to the 2011 season. It's weird how the Giants choose not to fire a coach and then he wins the Super Bowl. It's almost like this knee-jerk writing is exactly that, overly-emotional hot takes in an effort to gain attention.

That’s why the Giants are hard-pressed to make the playoffs this year.

My man comes in hard with this sentence, then the Giants win the Super Bowl. No wonder he quit writing for Bleacher Report. Even 2011 Bleacher Report found his belligerent hot takes too embarrassing to publish.

Both of them have shown no evidence that they can lead and produce outside of a fluke 2007 postseason, so it’s hard to get excited about this season.

When hot sports takes go bad. I'm not trying to use hindsight or bully this author, but he's so damn certain of himself and speaks with such authority, it's just fun to read just how bad his writing was at the time.

Because the author most likely felt left out, he decided on June 8, 2011 to go hard with hot sports takes about how LeBron James can't handle the spotlight. The author's writing is like a greatest hits of overreactions that look really foolish a few years later. But what makes it so great is just how sure and non-nuanced the author is when writing about these teams and players. He kicks nuance to do the door in favor of feeling like he's preaching nothing but the truth.

With a few seconds left in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade threw the ball to Mike Miller, who missed a three-pointer that would have sent the game to overtime.

No one can blame Wade for not throwing it to LeBron James, who was disengaged and disinterested in his eight-point performance.

James’ approach cost the Heat a victory as the Mavericks evened the series at two in an 86-83 victory at Dallas.

I am starting to think the author is really Skip Bayless.

Well, there was no defense for this disgraceful performance. Not only did he do nothing on offense, James wasn’t defending either. His defense resembled Nate Robinson’s defense, which is standing around and doing nothing.

Yeah, LeBron plays defense EXACTLY like Nate Robinson. Except Nate Robinson is a winner while LeBron James is a loser.

That was why he made the decision to take his talents to South Beach. The message was clear. He did not want to be the go-to guy on his team anymore, and he did not want the burden of being the face of the franchise anymore. He wanted to be known as a guy who can just fit in with Wade.

Yes, I am sure LeBron James went to Miami because he thought he wouldn't be noticed there. That's why he was so quiet about choosing the Heat when he decided which team he would join as a free agent. LeBron just wanted to quietly fit in, which is why he scheduled an hour-long special announcing his choice to go to the Heat. That's why LeBron promised "not one, not two, not three..." championships at the huge ceremony introducing he and Bosh as new members of the Heat. He just wanted to fit in.

After the Cavaliers bowed out in the playoffs the last two years, James decided it wasn’t worth it anymore. He thought being a one-man team was a burden.

Every single NBA player ever has thought that being a one-man team is a burden. That's why every NBA Championship team has not been a one-man team. There have always been other important, contributing players on that team. No superstar can win a title as a one-man team.

Not only has he stunk on the court, he also came up lame in his press conference. He failed to take accountability by saying he stunk. He came up with excuses for what went wrong.

The author really reads a lot into quotes given by athletes before and after a game. He's very angry with what Mark Teixeira says to the media and he's outraged at LeBron's excuses for his performance.

He talked about how his shots did not go in, which is odd considering he didn’t bother to take shots in Game 4. He talked about how he has to do a better job of being assertive offensively when he did not make an effort to do so.

I'm feeling like the author is too enraged to pay attention while writing this column. See, LeBron said he has to do a better job being assertive BECAUSE he did not make an effort to do so. So it's not an excuse, but LeBron acknowledging the author's criticism that he didn't play assertive enough. Yet, the author doesn't understand this and seems to not understand cause and effect. LeBron can't go back in time and make himself more assertive, so he has to in the future be more assertive. That's what he was saying. Slow down the hot takes and read.

Instead of mumbling through the press conference or coming up with silly clich├ęs, he should have just said that he stunk and he will be more aggressive on Thursday.

He did say he would be more aggressive. Hence the "do a better job of being assertive offensively" part of his comments.

Great players such as Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Jordan and Wade were not ashamed to call themselves out if their performance was unacceptable.

Hmmm...not sure this is a fact-based comment.

Winning a championship should change how a player is perceived, but in the case of James, that’s not happening. Not when he took the easy way out. Not when he is not making an impact in these Finals.

Hot sports take fail. Winning two championships did change how LeBron was perceived.

If he had his way, people would leave him alone and just accept him for what he is.

Maybe it’s time for all of us to stop celebrating him as a great player and look at him as a role player that is along for the ride.

Man, that last sentence was a real burner. Great job of trolling to get attention. It's been over three years and this article has 89 reads. 89 reads in over three years. The author spits out trolling attempts so often to get attention, yet it didn't seem to work.

Bleacher Report isn't perfect today, but this is the sort of crap that got printed a lot a few years ago. The site consisted of a lot of hot sports takes that existed merely for the sake of drawing attention.

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