It’s sad when the NBA season comes to an end. The final buzzer always leaves me a little misty, so you can imagine my unhappiness when the 2010-2011 NBA campaign came to a halt Wednesday night in Miami.
The season did end…right? Based on the celebration by LeBron James after the Heat downed the Boston Celtics last night, it must have!
James led the Heat on a remarkable 16-0 run to finish off the game, and the SECOND ROUND series Wednesday. After huffing and puffing and profiling for the cameras during the final minute, James fell to his knees at the buzzer and celebrated with Wade the rest of his teammates like he was in Times Square for New Year’s Eve. It was excessive, unnecessary and egotistical. It was like The Decision – Part 2.
I’m not a LeBron James hater. He is an unbelievable basketball talent. What he can do is amazing. What I don’t like is how he handles himself off the court. Last night just added to the royal pain-in- the-A persona that is “King James”.
I have heard many times today “you can’t tell people how to celebrate”. True, but hopefully, you don’t have to. I like the saying “act like you’ve been there before” much better.
The celebration by James was over the top and showed very little sportsmanship. I understand the Celtics had knocked James out of the playoffs in 2008 and 2010 and were the Beast of the East before Danny Ainge ruined his team with the Kendrick Perkins/Jeff Greene trade deadline deal, but it was a second-round win. It’s like going nuts over a wildcard playoff victory in the NFL or MLB. LeBron, you aren’t in college and you didn’t just win your way into the Final Four!
All this could be dismissed as youthful exuberance, remember King James is only 26 and has displayed THE DECISION making skills of an adolescent in the past, but the postgame press conference was James at his worst.
LeBron decided Wednesday night was the right night to apologize to the Cavaliers and their fans for how he handled things in leaving Cleveland for South Beach. Apparently he needed a win over Boston before he could say he was sorry.
“I knew I had to go through Boston at some point. I went through a lot signing to be here and the way it
panned out. I apologize for the way it happened, but I knew that this opportunity was once in a lifetime.”
– LeBron James
The apology seems hollow and disingenuous. Even worse is the timing. It’s easy to apologize when things are going your way. The proper time was to say something before the start of the season or upon his return to Cleveland. Last night’s mea culpa was more about “look at me” than “forgive me”. It was an ends justifies the means statement. ”I’m sorry I left in such poor fashion, but I beat the Celtics so it must be ok.” None of this should really be a surprise, remember this is the same guy that pulled a disappearing act on reporters after his early exit from the 2009 playoffs.
Would James have apologized if the Celtics beat Miami? Would the time still have been right? We’ll never know. Maybe more apologies are coming, the Heat still have the possibility of winning another series or two (I’ve been assured the season did not actually end Wednesday night). Personally I’m hoping the mic goes silent again. The apology didn’t fit the King and hopefully neither will the ring.