King James: False Hoops Royalty?

By David Wilson

I wonder how long it will take for the Bron Bron-lovers to take off their beer goggles and see LBJ for what he’s worth – at least at this point in his career. Over at True Hoop, Henry Abbott penned a piece about James and the rumor about him being booted from the U.S. Basketball squad this past summer. Henry, in his usual smooth yet candid steezo let the King James-iacs in on a little secret: Here’s a surprising piece of news: LeBron James may have been sweating just a little. He evidently brought some unwelcome attitude to the first few days of USA Basketball training camp in Las Vegas last summer. Sources with first-hand knowledge say that it was bad enough that when the team’s managing director, Jerry Colangelo, asked the coaching staff to choose the player they’d like to cut first, three coaches are said to have offered King James’ name.

Henry ends by surmising that James must have gotten his act together because he was ultimately named as a team captain.

Not to disagree with the esteemed Mr. Abbott, but I wonder something a little different. Perhaps making James a team captain was a silent protest meant to send a pointed message to Team USA godfather, Jerry Colangelo. See, I don’t believe Bron Bron can lead his way out of a paper bag. I feel anointing James to King status before he graduated from high school has had an extremely deleterious effect on James’ attitude; in the King’s world James is the undisputed master of all he surveys. Unfortunately this is at odds with reality as illustrated by the Cavaliers’ uneven performances this season. To elucidate my point, just look at James and his team’s performance in last night’s unseemly loss to New Orleans/moonlighting in Oklahoma City.

The Cleveland LeBrons popped down to the Ok corral for a little meeting with the Hornets. NO/OK is playing without three of its top six scorers, David West, Peja Stojavovic, and Bobby Jackson. The Hornets are so scoring-challenged they asked Jannero Pargo to step up and help with the points load. We’re talking Jannero Pargo here, folks. Sure, the fine peoples of Oklahoma City held a “Chris Paul for All-Star starter” promo, with Paul as host and pregame speaker. But that shouldn’t mean that the James-aliers were going to let a run-down squad like NO/OK ruin a one-game road jaunt where they could pick up an easy but invaluable road W, right?

Nope!

Bron Bron and the fellas turned in a real slice of limburger and got busted by the Hornets 95-89. They let NO/OK, a team that head coach has had to slow down to limit the possessions of the opposition to make up for his own team’s inability to score, hit them up for 95 points. Paul personally broke off Eric Snow and Damon Jones for 30-5 and 11. But that wasn’t the story. The story was the Hornets shooting a smokin’ 54.8% from the floor with 21 assists on 40 made shots. The story was Cleveland’s 42.9% field goal percentage.

But the real story was LBJ’s weak 7-for-18, 15-point performance that included a grand total of one free throw. This is LeBron James, the man players can’t help but either foul or get way out of the way when he drives to the bucket. This is the King who averages 9.7 FT attempts per game this season. This is the guy who is supposed to sense that his team is flat and, through his performance, demand that they elevate their games enough to fly home winners.

But this King, this 21st century Jordan, allowed his team to sleep walk through a game – and slept right along with them. This is the King whose team, a favorite in the Eastern Conference, has lost to Charlotte, Atlanta, Toronto, New York, and now NO/OK.

This is what happens when a King is crowned without special attention being paid as to whether he is deserving of the throne. This is what happens when 6?8? of physically-gifted man-child enters an NBA in desperate need of a single point of light to act as its beacon to the rest of the world.

James better win and win fast before the whispers grow beyond outposts like mine and into the mainstream where attention spans are short and patience last only as long as the new commercial for next big thing comes along.

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9 thoughts on “King James: False Hoops Royalty?

  1. And To All – There’s a paragraph that begins: “Bron Bron and the fellas turned in a real slice of limburger and got busted by the Hornets 95-89. They let NO/OK, a team that head coach has had…

    This should read, “…a team that head coach BYRON SCOTT has had…” Sorry for the error and any others you may find. I’m not my own best editor….

  2. I think (as an LBJ-lover) that the telling line in this article is “…at least at this point in his career.”

    Check the Pacers game (1 game before the NOK debacle) for evidence of what he can do when he puts his mind to it. The issue is why isn’t he putting his mind to winning games early and easily. I’m hoping it’s frustration at having to play 82 games before he gets to some that “matter.”

    As far as the Team USA stuff, LBJ apparently had a sense of entitlement and came in with an attitude that he really didn’t need to try out for the team because his place was set, and “almost” lost his place in the process. Where’d he get that sense of entitlement from? From Jerry Colangelo, telling him he had a sure spot on the team. But for team chemistry (to show they are all equals) everyone had to try out. ‘Nuff said on Team USA.

    He’ll be better and you’ll still wish he wasn’t. I feel your pain, I hate Kobe and his 81 points and 3 rings and selfish game and wish he wasn’t so good. Problem is, Kobe’s good, LeBron’s great, and there’s nothing you say to change that. Sorry.

  3. Yoat-
    LeBron’s sense of entitlement began long before Team USA; try high school. Try flaunting rules – remember the throwback jersey flap and the Hummer? That was entitlement. The nickname King James wasn’t coined during the Team USA tryouts.

    Team USA’s chemistry stunk. This was evident when Greece was beating the U.S.A timeout was called and James was on the bench. As the players on the floor came over to the bench James was actually laughing at something he whispered to Melo, who blew him off and took a seat.

    I juxtaposed LBJ with Michael Jordan, not Kobe Bryant. MJ would never, ever allow the Bulls to lose to consistently lose to lesser teams. Jordan’s Bulls never led the Association in blown 4th quarter leads as did Cleveland last year – and are this season. Jordan found nothing funny in losing – ever.

    In fact, neither does Kobe.

    Never compare a player with multiple rings to a player who hasn’t sniffed the Finals – you do the game an injustice. Just ask Charles Barkley.

  4. great article, thx. The thing about Jordan was he’s insane competitive nature, not to just beat you but make you look like you didnt even belong in the league. He would step on your neck even if they were up by 20. You just dont see that in Lebron yet, he’s still very young, but that instinct is in the genes , not sure you can learn that. And Cleveland’s a dead end , just ask Mark Price or Brad Dougherty, sorry Ohio better stick to your Buckeyes! Go Gators.

  5. If Bron wants to be compared to Jordan or any other person such as Magic, Bird whoever, he needs to take note that not once would one of the aformentioned guys just coast, they were out to win everytime they hit the floor, at any cost. Bron Bron needs to get off his high horse (can I say that about “The Chosen One”? pfff) and learn to play to win not just to look good.

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