Wow. This article from Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald sets a new standard for homeristic butt kissing.
“Because of his size and strength, LeBron James often withstands hard fouls. But because he remains upright, flagrant fouls aren’t called.”
For a second on Wednesday, Wizards forward Maurice Evans looked like a helpless defensive back trying in vain to keep a 6-8, 250-pound tight end out of the end zone.
During a fastbreak attempt in the second half, Evans jumped on the back of LeBron James to prevent an easy basket. Although Evans’ foul appeared to be intentional, and possibly flagrant, no such call was made. Instead, James was assessed a technical for complaining a little too vociferously about the play.”
Yes, poor LeBron. He can’t help it that he’s the biggest, strongest and fastest. Maybe if he didn’t have so many physical gifts he’d be able to get a fair shake from the refs.
More Goodman: “Such is the life of the NBA’s physical anomaly, James, the player with the size of a forward, speed of a guard and body-type of a football player. James often doles out just as much contact as he receives and doesn’t make a habit of complaining, but on Wednesday he voiced his displeasure after the game.”
Umm…what? LeBron doesn’t make a habit of complaining? Since when? Whining to refs is his signature move. He does it nearly every time he drives to the basket. Google “LeBron James whining” and you get 2.5 million results (point of reference – same search for Kobe yields 661,000 results). Bloggers around the league have chronicled his crybaby ways with the refs. Then-Wizards center Brendan Haywood essentially told James to shut up and play ball – back in the 2008 playoffs.
Not surprisingly, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra took his star player’s side, saying that James’ athleticism and the speed of the game make it tough for the officials. Maybe Spoelstra has a point – James has been in the top five in free throws attempted only every season since his rookie year.
Spoelstra goes silly with this one: “He absorbs a lot more contact than people realize. He’s big and tough enough that he shrugs it off, but you guys go in there and see him in the locker room. He’s got ice packs on pretty much every part of his body.”
I haven’t entered as many NBA locker rooms as Spoelstra, but I’ve been in enough to know that ice packs are virtually ubiquitous in the NBA, especially towards the end of a long season. Spoelstra knows this, of course, but says it anyway because most fans don’t know. Ice packs, aches and pains are part of the game.
More Goodman: “During an average game, James fights through body checks, hacks and fouls that would send most players crashing to the court. In physical contests such as the Heat’s 123-107 victory against the Wizards, James almost feels abused.”
Gee, LeBron sounds kind of like Superman. Oh wait, that’s Dwight Howard (who also whines about not getting enough calls). But note what Goodman does here. All NBA players fight through body checks, hacks and fouls – it’s called playing basketball. But the heroic James battles against blows that would fell the mere mortal.
Here’s the thing – LeBron agrees!
“Sometimes it’s unfair because of how strong I am,” James said. “I can take punishment of course, but at the same time, I just feel like it’s unfair sometimes.”