LeBron James has officially decapitated his haters.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE
By Clay Travis
Last night the most desperate LeBron James haters -- the Michael Jordan fanboys who refuse to believe that anything or anyone can ever compete with the hero of their childhood -- went to bed clutching their 1992 Air Jordan tennis shoes while quietly whimpering. This morning they'll walk past their unopened Wheaties boxes from 1994 and their Starting Lineup figurines from 1991 -- never opened either! -- before they log back on to Twitter and Facebook and wage their anti-LeBron campaign anew. They're the sports equivalents of the Iraqi information minister, denying an invasion that's happening right before their very eyes.
You know who I'm talking about because no matter who you are they are peppering your Facebook and Twitter feed with their desperate nuggets of disinformation.
Right now we are all witnessing the greatest individual performance in the history of basketball and some people still hate LeBron so much they're criticizing him for winning with the NBA equivalent of four dudes you wouldn't even pick for your team in a pick-up game at the Y. (There isn't a single YMCA in the country where Matthew Dellavedova would be the first pick. Not one.)
You see their posts: "Yeah, but he's missing too many shots."
Who do you want taking more shots then? Iman Shumpert? J.R. "I might just go ahead and pull up from halfcourt" Smith? Tristan "I haven't made a shot from beyond three feet in my entire life" Thompson? Hell, LeBron got James Jones seven points last night and I'm not even sure Jones can dribble the basketball anymore. I was wondering how James Jones got any minutes at all, but did you see Mike Miller on that floor last night? Mike Miller looks like he's an actual zombie from "The Walking Dead." Dude can't even run anymore and LeBron's got him playing in the NBA finals.
Cleveland has so few offensive weapons right now that even Dellavedova has to force shots. He's running around throwing up running one handers like he's playing a game of horse against a bunch of unathletic Australians back home in Canberra.
So spare me the LeBron's taking too many shots argument.
"All I care about is 6-0 in the finals," the anti-LeBron crew will social media you to death with.
So you're just going to forget about Jordan's 1-2 against the Pistons in the eastern conference finals? Or that Orlando Magic second round elimination in 1995? How about the fact that when he left the Bulls to go play baseball in 1994 they were still good enough to finish third overall in the eastern conference and take the New York Knicks, the team that would lose the title in seven games to the Houston Rockets, to seven games? Would these Cavs without LeBron even make the playoffs in the east? Nope. You're just going to pretend those Wizards years didn't ever happen too, aren't you?
I don't blame you for that.
But that's not the end of the LeBron haters you'll see on social media.
"He complains too much about calls," they'll say.
You don't remember Jordan getting every call on earth? If you breathed on him too hard, Jordan got a trip to the line. Some games it seems like LeBron could get murdered on the court and the NBA officials, who double as WWE officials in the off season, would miss it.
LeBron: "He just stabbed me with a bowie knife on that lay up attempt!"
NBA ref: "All ball."
LeBron is such a physical freak that he gets fouled on virtually every play. Watch him go to the basket, the guy gets more contact than Lil' Kim backstage at the Grammys.
"I don't like his "Chosen One," tattoo," some will say.
Oh, so now we critique players based on their tattoos? Really, this is what you're going with? This is the reason you can't enjoy his game/
"I don't like his body language on the court."
His body language? I'd be laughing harder if people weren't actually saying this all over Twitter and Facebook. Your body language would be bad too if you were carrying your broke ass team up and down the court for 46 minutes -- or more -- in the NBA finals.
Stop, just stop. Yes, that was hamhanded and dumb, but it should have been over after a year. Everyone forgets that decision special raised millions of dollars for charity. And four years later LeBron totally rewrote the script with his brilliant essay about returning to Cleveland, proving that he'd grown and learned a great deal in the intervening years. In the process, LeBron became the first person in the history of the universe to voluntarily leave Miami for Cleveland. That makes him a saint in my book.
You have to work so hard to dislike LeBron that these are the hater insults that are left to the legion of LeBron despisers. I mean, the dude has never been in trouble off the court. He appears to be a pretty decent dad, his teammates, by and large, seem to enjoy playing with him. So far as we know, unlike Jordan, he's never punched any of his teammates in practice. (Hello, Steve Kerr, opposing coach on the finals sideline). Hating LeBron is the very definition of trying too hard, the perfect representation for why our hater generation is so played out.
Name me one other person who is unquestionably the best in the world at his chosen profession and gets this much hate?
Which is disappointing because some of y'all hate LeBron so much that you're willing to not enjoy the greatest individual finals performance in the history of the game. LeBron may or may not lead his team to the title this year, but the struggle is real, the journey is without parallel in the annals of basketball, how can you give up the enjoyment of this ride because you don't like a dude's body language on the court?
You know who you sound like with all these complaints? A psychotic ex-girlfriend. Y'all need to be committed to the basketball insane asylum. Where you can sit in a strait jacket with your tongue hanging out and look at your poster of Jordan dunking from the free throw line -- newsflash, he stepped inside the line before he took off -- while you roll around on the floor replaying the final shot Jordan made to beat the Utah Jazz in 1998. (Newsflash, before he made that basket Jordan missed 20 shots; he finished 15-35 with one assist and one rebound). Time has a way of making us forget any flaws. If you don't believe me, ask your parents, who actually have fond memories of their trip to Disney World with you in 1984. Thirty years ago they wanted to kill you by the end of that "vacation."
Because here's my ultimate point that the haters don't seem to comprehend: LeBron being good doesn't make Jordan bad. You can enjoy both. Why you gotta hate LeBron to feel better about Jordan? Because let's be honest, despite your best memories, Jordan wasn't perfect. After all, he couldn't stop your parents from getting divorced, could he? (Okay, that was probably a low blow). But my point is simple, you're not in love with Jordan so much as you're in love with your memories of Jordan from your childhood. That's all well and good, but it's time to stop acting like children, you're grown ass men now.
LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world doing something that none of us thought was possible.
And right now we're all witnesses.
Even, much to their chagrin, those who continue to hate him for no reason at all.