Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Night of The Living Haters
If last Thursday's meltdown in Miami was Christmas for LeBron haters, then last night's no show was New Year's Eve, your 21st birthday and losing your virginity all rolled in one. Much like how the previous 2 rounds of unprecedented LeBron clutchness and awesome play in the 4th quarters were the worst possible ways for the Heat to win for Hater nation, these 2 losses in the Finals have been like Manna from heaven. You might have thought (as I did) that the haters were dead and buried by the sheer power of James and the Heat, but the hater has been resurrected. LeBron and the Heat choke away a 15 point fourth quarter lead after their usual premature celebrations (LeBron you punk!), and now LeBron barely shows a pulse in what might have been the turning point of the series, scoring in single digits for the first time in his 90 game playoff career (LeBron shrinks again!). It can't get any better as an Exhibit A for the haters.
Last night's performance was eerily similar to game 5 vs. the Celtics last season, the game that some people (including, most angrily, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert) accused Bron Bron of intentionally quitting on the team since he already had South Beach in his sites. So what's the excuse now? The only justification for all the douche baggery of "The Decision" and the pre season "we did it" circle jerk to calling yourself King would be winning what he claims is most important to him: a championship. Yet, in the biggest game of the season (before tomorrow's game stole that title) in which Miami could have dealt a knock out blow to the Mavs, LeBron comes out lacking any aggression and playing as passively as ever. It's all very strange and is proving the haters right. He's so talented and physically gifted that those of us who were on the fence about the guy (I'd put myself in that category even though I'm a Heat hater) wanted to believe that any game like last night or Game 5 vs. Boston had to be because of an ulterior motive, like a teammate was banging his mother, or he wanted to force his way out of the city. Maybe he's just not built for the spotlight like we thought. Even scarier, maybe Hater J is right and he's just a pussy. Anything less than a game winner and a 35 point average over the next 2 or 3 games, and it'll be hard to erase the memory of last night and game 5 from LeBron's legacy. The haters are on the verge of a takeover.