Lebron James Failed: we are all Cleveland Cavaliers today (or so it seems)

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Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This notoriously untranslatable German word is used as a loanword in English, and it perfectly encapsulates what American NBA fans feel today after the Dallas Mavericks denied the Miami Heat the league title.

I guess it’s fitting the Finals MVP (Dirk Nowitzki) who did them in was a native of Wurzburg, Germany.

Schadenfreude is running rampant as the rest of the nation picks up the Cleveland vibe of laughing at Lebron James and celebrating his failure. After the final buzzer sounded, “Lebron James Fail” and “Miami Heat Fail” were quickly trending in the search engines.

And there’s plenty of good reason. Winning 58 games and the Eastern Conference title (as James and the Heat did) is a very successful season. But given all the world-must-revolve-around-me hoopla and preseason braggadocio leading into this season- anything short of winning it all in Miami=epic failure.

By Paul M. Banks

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It’s hard not to bring up last July’s one hour reality special “The Decision,” a plague on all our houses. Already regarded as one of the worst PR moves of all time, it led to EVERY single person who was going to Miami for any reason to say “I’m taking my talents to South Beach.” Correction, any person who lacks originality/personality and was headed to Miami, has uttered this phrase in the past 10 months.

Sometime around 2025 they’ll make an ESPN  “30 for 30″ documentary about what a horrible catastrophe”The Decision” was.

Then there’s the Heat’s utterly stupid what-should-have-been-a-simple-press-conference-but-instead-became-an-absurdly pre-emptive and arrogant pseudo-championship rally. Chicagoan Dwyane Wade is just as guilty as Lebron, because at the rally he said they were: “arguably the greatest trio to ever play basketball together.”

My response to Dwyane on this one, to quote Barack Obama describing Kanye West after the Taylor Swift VMA incident: “well, he’s a jackass.”

It’s not Key Lime, but instead humble pie that’s being served in south Florida right now.

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And then there’s this attention-seeking douche. (Yes, that is me pictured with the man in question and his girlfriend who’s way too hot for him. I don’t know how a moron like this has out-kicked his coverage this much). Two weeks after “The Decision,” Sandusky, Ohio native Matthew Bellamy wore a fresh Miami Heat LeBron James jersey to a Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees game and this transpired. The Bellamy incident was to the long hot summer of NBA Free Agent Love what the Battle of Yorktown was to the American Revolution.

That night, Bellamy also established a new “become famous for 15 seconds because you acted like a complete jackass at a sporting event” precedent. Cowboys Stadium Lap Dance Girl (video available here) also followed this rule of show-business.

Also, there’s a whole cottage industry (obviously headquartered in Cleveland and started by Cavaliers fans) that exists based on pure anti-LBJ vitriol. You can buy a t-shirt to join in. Or this one, just hot off the presses.

And the Twitterverse was alive with Anti-James sentiment last night. It’s probably best encapsulated by the account CavsforMavs (nearly 7,000 followers)

Here’s what bugs me about LeBron calling out his “haters”. We hate you because of what YOU did. You WERE loved, now you’re not.

Your mistake was thinking that we were fans of YOU. We’re fans of the CAVS, when you left thinking your fans would just follow you…

you exhibited egomaniacal sociopathic behavior which alienated all of your fans, and caused even people who didn’t care before to hate you.

And this one made the Twitter rounds quickly, although I have no idea how to got started.

The City of Dallas just announced that tomorrow is Lebron James Day. Everyone gets to leave work 12 minutes early.

Indeed everyone who followed the NBA seemed to take pride in James’ inability to do anything in the 4th quarter. He truly disappeared when it mattered most this series.

But above all, Lebron gets the last laugh, and he laughs best, because we’re the ones obsessing about him. You can tweet/blog all you want that “you’re a foul one, Mr. James. You heart is full unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk” and other statements in that vein, but in the end what’s the point?

I interviewed James at UIC when the Heat were practicing here for the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Bulls. If 90% of communication is non-verbal, then James’ gestures, posture and mannerisms said a thousand words about his psyche. In my humble little opinion, he came off as unsure and lacking in security as the man in the infamous Nike “What should I do?” ad. I’m guessing that commercial is actually who he truly is underneath it all- a person who’s been taken over by spin-masters and handlers, and seems to either

a.) not truly know himself

b.) unable to handle the responsibilities of the expectations heaped upon him

c.) both.

I know that seems like a broad sweeping generalization, so go here to read my theory laid out in detail.

No matter what James truly is, its probably time to let go of the backlash against him.

Or not.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

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