And then James once more opened his mouth and proved that he may be the most clueless athlete in professional sports (and that’s saying something). Here’s what he said after Sunday night’s 105-95 loss in Game 6 to the Mavericks:
“All the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”
The insistence of the part of James — and earlier in the season, Dwyane Wade — that the rest of the world’s happiness or lack thereof is based solely on the outcome of their basketball games is baffling to me. Sure, there were people rooting hard against the Heat — just as there are James lovers out there who were rooting for them. I can hardly wait to see the new movie “Bad Teacher” just to hear the full exchange between the character played by Jason Segel and a kid arguing that James is better than Michael Jordan. Segel’s character, of course, brings up rings — as in NBA championship rings — and the kid can’t believe that’s his best argument. That scene should bring down the house this summer.
Had James been gracious in defeat, it would have gone a long way to calming even the most rabid of the haters. The Heat improved by leaps and bounds this season after an early losing skid, some sulking and what appeared to be a power struggle between James and Coach Erik Spoelstra. At one time, this team’s arena was so empty that the Heat placed ads in the local paper, begging fans to come to its games.
And America chortled, of course. But Wade, James and the rest also said to give them time to play together and they would develop into a cohesive team. (A lot of other people said the same, too.) By the time the playoffs rolled around, they were pretty good. In fact, they may have been the best they could be — as a team.
The trouble was, so were the Mavericks, and they also had the extra incentive of going one-on-one with Father Time, trying to grab one ring before the AARP cards began arriving in the mail. The Mavs needed it more, no question, and despite some disparate parts, they somehow found a way to gel.