Ball Don't Lie - NBA

By now you've heard the story of Xavier sophomore Jordan Crawford dunking all over LeBron James(notes) in a pick-up game at LeBron's "Skills Academy." The tale isn't apocryphal. Witnesses and Crawford himself have already spoken of the play, but no video of the throwdown is available.

Because, apparently, James had all records of any slammage destroyed. That's not apocryphal, either. Not Nike making the erasure call, as will be blamed by some, but Nike doing James' dirty work after LeBron asked for the videos to be erased.

This is absolutely no fun, and it falls right in line with a batch of childish behavior from LeBron James recently. And I'm not in line with those who are letting James slide for this or James' refusal to meet the media or congratulate the Orlando Magic last month because "he hasn't done anything wrong yet."

They're confusing "not doing anything wrong" with "meeting and far exceeding the hype that preceded his NBA career." We should applaud his game, but to applaud him for merely not being a dingle berry doorknob is ridiculous. Nearly as ridiculous as substituting "dingle berry doorknob" for a curse word.

James isn't supposed to do anything wrong. We shouldn't be handing out plaudits for "not doing anything wrong." It's what you're supposed to do. To paraphrase Chris Rock, one shan't be handed tea and biscuits as a reward for doing what you're supposed to do. Something like that.

And this dunk nonsense, while out and out nonsense, is pathetic.

So you got dunked on. It makes you human. It's fun. It would be fun to watch. It's fun to watch you, LeBron, go at guys like Dwight Howard(notes) or ... well, I can't come up with another good NBA center right now. Anyway, it's fun to watch you try and dunk on Dwight Howard because Howard's attempts at stuffing your stuff attempt are as impressive as your dunk. Just because you have the ball in his hand and he doesn't, it doesn't make him a chump. Not when you can jump.

And I'm sure you hardly looked like a chump when Crawford got you. I'm sure you jumped in your usual, breathtaking, fashion, and missed out on the block just slightly. Or maybe you didn't get an arm up, ducking your head away from the rim as Crawford threw down.

But guess what? Your head was at the rim. That's impressive. That's freakin' awesome. That's something 99 percent of us can't do.

People like you shouldn't be insecure. People like you should walk around without shirts on, inviting us to the gun show, instead of walking around in pathetic shirts like this. You should know that no one can touch you, and act accordingly. Because you're the best player in the game. You might retire as the best player. And nobody can touch you. They can dunk on you, but they can't touch you.

Oh, you may have erased the video of the dunk, LeBron James, but you haven't erased the video of your soul. FOR SHAME.

Seriously, though, LeBron? Seriously? You had them erase the video? Not cool, bro. Not cool.  

***

UPDATE: The Plain Dealer's Brian Windhorst has the latest from the Nike side of things, which claims that the confiscation of the tapes had nothing to do with Crawford's dunk, but the fact that two rogue cameramen were even rolling to begin with. Right.

They're not wrong in that assertion, the cameras weren't meant to be rolling, and Nike was well within its rights to confiscate what did make it to hard disk. But you can bet a month's pay that the only reason Nike wanted anything to do with those cameras is because James called a Nike rep over to point out the cameramen, apres le dunk.

The Dagger's Chris Chase has a tidy, little breakdown here

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