July 29, 2009
First, his heavily favored Cavaliers, whether they should have been heavily favored or not, were swiftly dismissed by the Orlando Magic in last spring's Eastern Conference finals. LeBron then compounded the pathos by refusing to shake any Magic player's hand, and leaving Quicken Loans Arena post-game without speaking to the press.
A few weeks ago, James was involved in an embarrassing incident that saw him get dunked on, sort of, by a heretofore unheralded Xavier wing named Jordan Crawford at his self-styled basketball camp.
According to eyewitnesses, James then asked Nike staffers (the shoe company was sponsoring the event) to shake down and confiscate video tapes from anyone who may have documented what turned out to be a rather ho-hum throwdown.
Then there was this shirt, pictured on the right. This might have been the biggest embarrassment of them all.
You see, more and more, James is coming over as someone who is far removed from reality. Someone who needs a good sit down to tell him that, no, you're not supposed to wear shirts like that.
Woj nailed it in a column a few months ago, but that was tossed out well before the dunk incident, or even the black shirt business. We love watching James play, but he's getting to be a bit much.
After all, this isn't like spending your money on the biggest and baddest SUV you can find. Or some Lamborghini that can barely pass over a discarded bag of chips on the road without rupturing several major arteries.
In fact, the F430 is the cheapest Ferrari you can throw money at, as you'll see here:
But, in a way, it's also the best. Because this is a proper road car, not some wafer-thin Italian grab of nonsense that you can't possibly hope to toss at anything besides a rented track or a Jay Leno-styled garage. It "only" has a V8, as opposed to some ridiculously breezy V12, and it turns in at about 483 brake horsepower.
Now, there are Cadillacs with greater output than that these days, but because this car is so finely tuned, so perfect for any occasion, that it wrests just about everything it can from those 483 horses. And because it doesn't resemble a Mediterranean man's idea of what a meteor-dodging spaceship would look like, the car is feasible enough to plunk up and down the freeways of northern Ohio.
Even if you feel like merging onto the highway from a complete stop, and hitting 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds.
So the idea that LeBron would pick the firmest and less show-offy car in the Ferrari lot had me swimming, for most of the afternoon, and into the late evening.
Then I saw this (courtesy of the great folks at The Hoop Doctors):
Yes, that's James referring to himself as "King James" without much provocation, laughing endlessly at his own bad joke, skulking around his new quarter-million dollar car without asking once about the performance, drive, features, etc — and watching as a man in a large truck reveals that he's removed the iconic Ferrari Stallion logo, and replaced it with James' (I'm assuming) Nike-designed logo instead.
Worse, James goes to great lengths to point out that his "logo is very worldwide-known," which hardly makes sense on a grammatical level, and makes no sense at all to someone who swears that he watched every single Cavalier game last year. I didn't recognize that logo at all. The Ferrari Stallion? That's "worldwide-known." I used to trace that thing onto my composition book in second grade.
So, as it's been recently with James, even when he's right ... he just can't get it quite right. Well, there's always next year's Conference finals.
And the most recent Audi R8, LeBron, is looking quite nice. Tom Brady has one, and managed not to pry off Audi's four rings before affixing a "TB12" emblem on the front. You might give it a look, once you're done brewing up another batch of those tastefully done "LBJ MVP" t-shirts.
(And I'm sure you sent Run DMC the proper royalties for the design, right LeBron?)