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Someone should probably tell the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder that they’re wasting their time. For that matter, the NBA should just step in and cancel the rest of this Celtics-Heat series. What should have a battle between two ideologies–young vs. old, flashy vs. scrappy, the individual vs. the team–has been all but deemed irrelevant.
From officiating to announcing, it’s abundantly clear that the current powers refuse to pay attention to anything but the one, the only, LeBron James. The result? Beyond the hometown Celtics not getting their fair chance, every other potentially interesting storyline has been neutered like a stray cat. In its wake: LeBron, LeBron, LeBron. Is anyone else sick of it?
Since 2008, James has been the complete focus of everything basketball and lemon-lime soda related. LeBron and the quest for the ring. LeBron taking his time in free agency because he has daddy issues. LeBron finally joining the pantheon of basketball greats. From his disgustingly egotistic “the decision” to his inability to not embarrass himself in the playoffs, it has all been discussed a thousand times.
At this point, presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been a starting small forward for the same number of championship teams. If LeBron was that great, he would have won a championship by now, plain and simple. Ye, this storyline has been shoved down our throats for however many years, whether we want it or not.
All the while, every other thread has been relatively ignored the past few seasons: Kobe’s chase for a sixth, the Spurs dynasty seeking a fifth championship, the end of the Celtics’ Big Three, and more. The ooing and ahhhing for LeBron continues.
Anyone who watched Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals (or any basketball in the past nine years) could see the announcers fawn over every little thing LeBron does. ESPN.com has a page devoted entirely to the Heat, leaving little doubt as to who it’s rooting for.
I’m no expert in biases/integrity/etc. but can you even pretend this is fair? LeBron has been in the league for nearly a decade and proven himself incapable of delivering the goods. A lot of players (even superstars) haven’t won championships, but we don’t see 24/7 coverage on Sasha Pavlovic’s quest for glory. Enough is enough.
And so now we find the Celtics as the East’s last line of defense. They emphasize teamwork (Celtics) while the LeBrons (I mean the Heat) focus on the individual. The Celtics weren’t the better team in either Game 1 or quite possibly Game 2, but even if they were it wouldn’t matter. The technicals were more than questionable, and all those extra free throws add up. The result: Dwyane Wade can smack Rajon Rondo in the face, Paul Pierce becomes physically incapable of getting to the line, and the inconsistencies in officiating become noticeable to even a casual observer.
All in the name of LeBron. If that trend continues, the Celtics don’t stand a chance.
But that’s not even the worst part. Does anyone else think that, as a team, the Miami Heat just aren’t that good? At least the Cavaliers had five legitimate starters: Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams, and Shaq were legitimate players at the very worst. Without the Boshtrich, the Heat consist of James, Wade, and scrubs, and Kevin Garnett eats scrubs for breakfast.
Miami’s not a real team. But who needs Ubuntu when you can have superstars? Why even bother teaching kids about teamwork?
The Heat have committed only 5 technicals compared to their opponents’ staggering 24. The intentions are clear. We can talk about the Celtics’ age, health, physicality, but it doesn’t make the slightest difference as long as the unseen forces remain infatuated with Mr. James.
Regardless of whether or not they pose a threat to the Celtics, it’s getting more than a little old. Unfortunately, Boston is just another casualty on the LeBron James warpath.
Unless Delonte can do us another solid. Then all bets are off.