October 21, 2011
We understand, even without watching the ABC show "Happy Endings" before, that this is a lighthearted (and critically respected) comedy that bears no ill will toward LeBron James(notes) when it features a clip like this:
(via SB YM Devine.)
The joke is on the character, obviously. But we do have to keep something in mind, especially after Magic Johnson's lame attempt at joking about LeBron from earlier in the week.
LeBron James absolutely destroyed the Boston Celtics late in games against the then-defending Eastern Conference champions last spring. In the next round, he just about single-handedly put away the squad with the best record in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls, dominating down the stretch on both ends of the court in decisive fourth-quarter stretches. Four years before that, he gave us perhaps the best fourth-quarter showing in NBA playoff history. In 2008, he kept his terrible Cavalier team in games late against the eventual champions from Boston. In 2009? Well, Dwight Howard(notes) was in the way, and Ben Wallace(notes) couldn't guard Rashard Lewis(notes).
In 2010, he gave up on his team. In 2011? Dallas was just better, I suppose, and the Miami experiment still has a lot of work on its hands. So does LeBron. It's called the pinch-post, guy. Remember that thing you used against Chicago? Bulls fans do.
But overall his body of work down the stretch of games is superb. He may have quit on his team in 2010, but it wasn't unlike what we all saw a frustrated Kobe Bryant(notes) do against the Phoenix Suns in 2006 in a Game 7. LeBron has his issues, and we've documented them exhaustively here at BDL, but overall this image just doesn't fit if you've been paying full attention. And not just to his last five games.
I'd prefer to keep this succinct, because this is as long as this subject deserves. Magic, Jordan and Bird all lost games in the clutch. Big games, and not just desperate long-range shots. With free throws. With gimmies.
There might be a paucity of things to talk about over the coming weeks as the players and owners dive back into their respective hidey-holes, and even though this clip was created to poke fun at the character in question (and not LBJ), don't let any knowledgeable NBA fan get away with that at any of the seven Halloween parties you attend next week.
(Like you have anything better to do next week. It's not like there's any basketball to watch.)