Monday, June 13, 2011

Don’t Hate Lebron, Hate ESPN & Kevin Garnett!

Is everybody happy now? The sports fans, media and all of those that despised “The Decision” are all breathing a collective sigh of relief as they wallow in the Dallas Mavericks victory over the Miami Heat. Lebron James may as well have been the guy who slapped Snooki or better yet, George Bush at the height of the Iraqi invasion given the amount of scrutiny Bron Bron has received since last July. I haven’t seen Americans this ecstatic about someone’s demise since the death of Bin Laden. Before Lebron’s effigy is constructed, placed in the town square and set ablaze for the remainder of the summer however, allow me to be the first to tell you all that you suck!

Can someone please explain to me why Lebron is such a terrible person? Because he is considered a superstar? He did not bestow that title upon himself. He actually worked very hard to be considered one of the best basketball players in the world. Is it because he likened himself to Michael Jordan a.k.a. basketball God? He actually never compared himself to Michael Jordan (thanks for that Scotty). He wore MJ’s # in admiration until he officially switched his number and requested that the #23 be retired from the entire NBA forever. So what on earth could it be? Ah yes, it’s the way he made his announcement to play for another team and the ensuing celebration with said team.

That still doesn’t explain the rampant and widespread hatred (at least outside of Cleveland). So then I asked myself certain pertinent questions like;

A) Who stands to benefit the most financially through ratings and advertising revenue from the media backlash?
B) Who is generating the media backlash?
C) Who has a monopoly on the sports commentary market?
D) Who has virtually every sports writer on their payroll and can easily disseminate any message of their choosing?
E) Who facilitated “The Decision” in the first place?

ESPN that’s who! I believe it was game five of the finals when Stuart Scott (ESPN anchor) began the pre game show with a montage of all the criticism Lebron had been receiving for his lackluster performance thus far. This montage consisted of several Sportscenter clips (ESPN program), commentary from Mike and Mike in the Morning (ESPN program), Sports Nation (ESPN program), 1st and 10 (ESPN program) and various other ESPN programs. Does anyone realize that the 24 hour, unilateral sports news cycle feeds on itself and will turn the most insignificant bit of news into a matter of national security? Does anyone care that there are 17 sports analysts and commentators for every sporting event broadcast who need to be compensated for their words of wisdom? Does anyone realize that public interest generates revenue so the more interest that is manifested, the higher the bottom line? Apparently not.

As for the fans whose sole (and quite frankly, lame) rational for not liking Lebron encompassed how he made the announcement, consider the following possibilities; If Lebron would have gotten on stage that fateful July 8th and announced that he isn’t going anywhere or that Dwayne Wade is coming to Cleveland, no one would’ve cared how he did it so let’s all just cut the crap right there. Fans are upset because his decision meant that a victory for their respective teams became less likely and also because ESPN told them to.

The long and short of it is too many people have no idea how to formulate their own opinions and often allow media personalities and events that have nothing to do with the subject matter to become the subject matter. If you chose not to like someone professionally then it really should be contingent on what they did or didn’t do professionally because quite frankly, that is the only relationship you have with that individual! I don’t like Kevin Garnett because of the way he plays the game. I think he is a dirty player and if I were an NBA player ever to be the unfortunate recipient of one of those errant, flailing jagged elbows, you better believe I am going to try my hardest to punch the big ticket. I may get KTFO,
but I will certainly have a problem based on his actions on the court. Isn’t that how it should be?

Sidebar:“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Sidebar complete.


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