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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why Everyone Hates Lebron: An Alternate Theory

Let's face it:
Most of us can't stand LeBron James and want the Miami Heat to lose.
People have posited many theories as to why these negative feelings exist. Some say it's racism.
Considering the racial makeup of the NBA, it's a little silly to accuse an NBA fan of racism.
I think it's something far less insidious.
Most people like to pull for the underdog.  It's been the American story since we kicked the British off this continent (after our germs killed everyone else).
LeBron James is never going to be the underdog.  He is bigger and more talented at the sport of basketball than pretty much everyone else on the planet.  This wasn't as big a deal when he played for Cleveland.  No team from Cleveland is ever not going to be the underdog.  I actually pulled for LeBron as a Cavalier.
Now that James is playing on a consistently winning team with other superstars, there is nothing to negate his advantage.  He is again the most distant thing from an underdog.  For most of us, that makes him impossible to root for.
If you see a big guy boxing a little guy, you are most likely going to pull for the little guy, unless the big guy is your brother (maybe that's why I was cheering for the Heat six years ago when they had Louisiana's favorite transplanted son, Shaq, along with Dwayne Wade).
OKC is a brand new team full of brand new superstars.  They've never been to the Finals before, and I have to root for them.  In theory, James and his crew should crush the Thunder, but I'll be pulling against the Heat every second of every game.
It is my duty as an American.


Rick Gebhardt said...

I also think many people dislike Lebron's arrogance. I know that ever since his "decision" televised crap, I haven't been able to stand him. It made him look like a clown. And the Heat, when they organized into their current form, were trying to create a dominant team full of 3 high caliber superstars. That gave me Yankees-ish feelings, making me dislike him even more.

Then again, I detest the NBA in general so this is all probably moot :-)

Nicholas said...

Aw, c'mon man, the Timberwolves will win a championship someday (most likely sooner than the Hornets will).
I agree that "The Decision" and the very fact that we can just say "The Decision" and know what the other person means was and is very annoying. On the other hand, the event did end up raising six million for charity. But then on an inexplicable third hand, anything even remotely resembling the New York Yankees is an abomination that should be burned to the ground with fire. The NBA teams from our regions don't have the draw, clout, or money that a Miami or an L.A. team does, and it's not really fair for those teams to stack the box.

Rick Gebhardt said...

That's why I detest baseball and basketball--inequality. The NFL, for as much controversy as they generate on various fronts, have creating a competitive environment nailed down. Revenue sharing, salary caps, and other tools make it so that any team has the potential to be competitive any year. Just look at two midwest teams--The Vikings went from near Super Bowl winners (fuck you, Saints) to garbage and the Lions went from garbage's garbage to legitimate contenders.

Nicholas said...

Yeah, I do wish the NBA would step up in that regard. I like what Stern has done for N.O. in the past couple of years, but that's only because I live sixty miles away.
Also, I feel that way about the Saints right now, too. All the bounty crap, plus almost bungling Brees' contract. They definitely lost me in the mid-90's when they could beat a perfect team of robots one week, then lose to a Yemeni JV squad the next week. That Super Bowl didn't mean to me what it meant for a lot of people (I much prefer LSU to win), though I do enjoy it when they win. That victory over the Vikings was pretty great, even though it's been tainted in the last few months.