If you perused Twitter last night and looked at the trends, you would have found that the number one trend-er for the day was 'Rashard Lewis'. Rashard’s Wizards didn’t make the playoffs. Not even close. So why on the day of game 5 of the NBA Finals was he trending, and not say, Lebron James?
Well you see , because ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith had reported from a ‘reliable’ source that he had a lead about Lewis having a devious physical relationship with Lebron’s girlfriend recently.
Whether its true or not I am not sure. This is the second time a rumor of another NBA star having a relationship with someone close to Lebron has arisen in the last few playoff seasons(Google, "Delonte West likes Lebron's Mom"). If I had to guess I would say its absolute truth. Usually reported rumors from a “reliable” source in the Orlando area are indeed accurate.( See: Tiger Woods);But on the heels of the most perplexing Finals performance from a superstar I have ever heard or seen, I found myself changing my sentimental stance on Lebron; I kind of feel bad for him
I feel for him as a human. He is a mortal after all. A 25 year old not far into manhood. He didn’t choose to be given the greatest basketball talent God may have ever doled out. He didn’t ask to be followed around by a camera as a 13 year old; seemingly setting the standard for the rest of his life being scoped under the lights. He certainly didn't ask to be involved in a relationship with a woman that would be rumored to go sour and having the villain of her possible infidelity be the number one trend-er on Twitter on the afternoon of the biggest basketball game of his life.
We haters have been eating up his failures for the last few days, and most of us probably haven’t stopped to think what it would be like to have your work scrutinized by tens of millions of people. Not to mention your relationship woes broad casted throughout national news media outlets.
Sure, I am still rooting for him to fail competitively on the court at this time. I pumped my fist at almost his every miss in games four and five. I however found myself opening up the possibility of an end game to my personal chastising of him.
I certainly don’t want to see him win a title this year. And thankfully, if the Mav’s can win one of the next 2 games, he will have to at least pay a years worth of dues for his utterly gross front running attempt.
However, I am now open to the possibility, maybe even the likelihood that one day down the road I could allow myself to root for him again and even root for him to win a title.
When I woke up yesterday if you had asked me if I saw a light at the end of my bitter tunnel I would have said absolutely not. Today I realized I might just want to see the saga'd quest continue for a few more years. Heck, maybe even a decade. But if 36 year old Lebron is 0 and 5 in the finals, wearing a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey as their sixth man, and has a shot at a ring, I think I assuredly would root for the culmination of his chasing's to come to fruition for him. It's just that I enjoy good sports stories and drama so much, and the longer James goes without a title, the thicker the plot.
Listen, Lebron is struggling with an on the court complex, whether he admits it or not; Something is wrong with him and its not talent,it’s mental.
In his last 2 games, the biggest of his 25 year life, he has blended deferment and what can only be described as cowering under pressure, to a tee. The Anti King James side of me loves it. The humane side of me suddenly feels for him.
None of us could ever understand what its like to fail at our jobs and our relationships on such a public level as Lebron James has encountered in the past few days. We compare him to Michael Jordan, but he never asked to be compared to him. He never asked to be this good at basketball. He never signed up to be raked over the hottest coals in town. He never meant to be THIS.
But he did however sign up to be the bizarr-o Scottie Pippen , and my oh my what a fine job he is doing at being just plain bizarre. The man has superhuman ability and has been dubbed the chosen one, but has effectively boxed himself into a corner with his tail between his legs in this NBA Finals.
He tweeted "Now or never" before and about game 5. What now Lebron? Game 6 is still going to occur right?
This isn’t what I envisioned or hoped for from Lebron when I fell in love with his on the court character and basketball tools while he was in Cleveland.... But,this is exactly what I had hoped for when he shredded the city of Cleveland in a shameless one hour special last July.
Hey, in Four days Lebron James might win his first World Title. It’s still very much in play. But watching him on and off the court the past 2 days has given me a new found respect for the humanity of Lebron James, and opened me up to the possibility of one day rooting for him to get it all right : I see myself rooting for him to find a interior, back to the basket, post game in his later years like Michael did, when his legs were weighed down. And I find myself pipe dreaming that he might go back to Cleveland at age 31 when his contract in Miami is up, with no rings in his baggage; and to win his first in Cleveland.
I always thought I was a softy when it came to sports. I realized today that if I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, in this encompassing disdain for Lebron James self induced highway robbery of his own ceiling, that I am an even bigger softy than I first thought. But alas, I slap myself and put on my "Go Mav’s" face for now.
It’s just too soon, Lebron. I know you never asked for all of this pressure or fame, and I now hope you get your trophy one day. But not this Tuesday. Not June of 2012. Maybe not even June of 2017. But yes, some June, some day.
Until then though Lebron, would it upset you if I rooted for Delonte and Rashard to win a title first??